Victoria Electric Coop in Texas Uses Trilliant and HD Supply Utilities for Smart Grid Pilot

By Cheryl Kaften July 20, 2011

Orlando, Florida-based HD Supply Utilities, North America's largest electric utilities distributor, and Redwood City, California-based Trilliant, a Smart Grid communications provider, have partnered to deploy a Smart Grid communications pilot program on behalf of Victoria Electric Cooperative, in Victoria, Texas.  

Victoria Electric Cooperative covers a 1,800-square-mile service territory in southeastern Texas; and serves six counties with approximately 19,500 residential, and 540 commercial and industrial customers. The City of Victoria is known as "The Crossroads" because it is located within a two-hour drive of Corpus Christi, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin.

Victoria Electric's pilot program will be a 90-day test to designated locations in its service area. A successful implementation could mean a full rollout to the entire service territory. Initial goals are to:

  • Improve operational efficiency,
  • Provide interval data for Critical Peak Pricing (CPP) and Time-of-Use (TOU) rates, and
  • Enhance outage detection.

The pilot program includes a deployment of Trilliant's multi-tier SecureMesh Smart Grid solution to deliver advanced utility services. The SecureMesh wide area network provides a long-range, high-bandwidth, low-latency wireless mesh network capable of covering hundreds of square miles of the distribution grid. Each network provides up to 54 Mbps (megabytes per second) of seamless connectivity to grid devices as well as backhaul traffic from AMI collectors to enable secure private networking for advanced metering.

By connecting grid devices such as substations, voltage regulators, line switches, capacitor banks, and transformers, the SecureMesh WAN enables applications such as substation automation, distribution automation, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), and workforce mobility.

"We felt strongly that the combination of HD Supply Utilities' installation services and Trilliant's multi-tiered SecureMesh technology would provide Victoria Electric Coop with a robust, high-speed, low- latency communications network that will serve as our Smart Grid foundation and meet AMI objectives," according to Blaine Warzecha, General Manager at Victoria Electric Cooperative.  "Equally significant is the fact that we are implementing a solution that can grow to meet our future needs."

A key component in HD Supply Utilities' GridAdvance integrated, end-to-end Smart Grid solution, Trilliant's SecureMesh multi-tier architecture enables the two-way flow of data to integrate the utility's head-end systems with distribution, smart metering, and home devices. These sections of the grid correspond to communication tiers: a Wide Area Network (WAN) tier, which connects distribution devices and aggregates the Neighborhood Area Network (NAN) tier, which connects meters and aggregates the Home Area Network (HAN) tier, which connects in-home devices.

"The overriding benefits of Smart Grid communication networks, combined with the trend toward TOU rates and CPP solutions, are setting the stage for the implementations such as the one at Victoria -- implementations that require a multi-tier architecture requiring advanced WAN, HAN, and NAN capabilities," said Andy White, CEO at Trilliant. "We're proud to be involved in those efforts at Victoria Electric through our relationship with HD Supply Utilities."

"It's clear to us that rural electric coops are looking for an advanced Smart Grid solution that can grow as their utility initiatives evolve," said Geff Smith, vice president, Automation, HD Supply Utilities. "Trilliant's multi-tier architecture approach to Smart Grid networks made the difference at Victoria Electric and we are looking forward to seeing their customers benefit from this solution."

For more information, visit the Trilliant website.

Cheryl Kaften is an accomplished communicator who has written for consumer and corporate audiences. She has worked extensively for MasterCard Worldwide, Philip Morris USA (Altria), and KPMG, and has consulted for Estee Lauder and the Philadelphia Inquirer Newspapers. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

IoTevolutionworld Contributor

Related Articles

An Issue of Scale: How Numerex Soothes the Savage IoT Beast

By: Ken Briodagh    11/25/2015

The IoT is a simple beast, really. Plug smart device A into cloud B and try your best to make sense out of what you find, while keeping evildoers from…

Read More

Hey Health Care Professionals! Let's Solve Security

By: Ken Briodagh    11/25/2015

I love how readily the health care industry has taken to the IoT. You folks are leading the way in both enterprise and consumer-facing M2M technology,…

Read More

Ingenu Launches National IoT Machine Network in US

By: Ken Briodagh    11/24/2015

Ingenu, a connectivity provider exclusively for machine networks, recently announced the initial rollout of its Machine Network, which will cover 30 m…

Read More

The Shopping Mall of Things: A Black Friday in the Life of the IoT

By: Special Guest    11/23/2015

While we have seen examples of some high-end retailers closing their doors for good, such as Blockbuster and Borders, brick and mortar retailers have …

Read More

Atmel Brings Improves WeChat's IoT Capability

By: Frank Griffin    11/17/2015

As more of the things around us become smarter, the information they transmit must be secured to protect the data. One of the largest social media com…

Read More