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Western Power Distribution creating the Blueprint for Grid Modernization with Cisco

July 27, 2014 at 6:04 pm PST

I’ve been to the UK twice this year. The traffic is terrible! Worse than I ever remember! Commentators that’s a good sign -- a sign of economic prosperity. That certainly seems to be the case in the UK. My last European-related blog -- Ferguson Group Ltd keeps an Eye on Operations with Cisco Physical Security -- talked about the Oil industry and how the UK’s fortunes were turned around by the North Sea Oil discovery at about the same time the US astronauts were landing on the moon.

This time it’s the Utility Industry -- electric power to be exact -- that’s causing a stir.

Creating the Telecommunication Blueprint for Grid Modernization, Weston Power Distribution had already chosen Cisco for a Low Carbon Study, building a pilot communications infrastructure to support 11kV grid reinforcement monitoring. The Flexible Approaches to Low Carbon Networks (FALCON) initiative, a government funded study project in the UK has the goal of improving the  industry’s understanding of infrastructure needs in a low carbon future.

U.K. utility regulator Ofgem has estimated that £32 billion of new grid investment will be required within the next 10 years, twice the rate of investment over the previous two decades. Western Power Distribution (WPD) undertook a study to see how the cost of reinforcing its 11kV grid can be reduced based on smarter investment that draws on innovative intervention techniques that can replace or supplement conventional methods.
The UK wants to reduce carbon emissions by 80%, while still handling the peaks and troughs of increasing demand. “Reliable and secure near real-time communications is a key element to the FALCON initiative”, as Andrew Longyear, a Cisco thought leader on the subject commented. “The telecommunications and data management within our project such as FALCON is the SMART in Smart-grid, added Roger Hey, Future Networks Manager, Western Power Distribution.
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The key objectives of the Cisco communications network solution for WPD included:
  • Designing and deploying an IP-based communications infra structure using IEEE 802.16e WiGRID access and backhaul technologies
  • Helping ensure adherence to WPD’s security policy for design and implementation
  • Learning and disseminating all information and findings related to the technologies deployed so far.
  • Creating a blueprint for WPD and for other utilities in the United Kingdom as they test the same intervention techniques

And the intended benefits? Here’s what Sanna Atherton, Innovation and Low-Carbon Networks Engineer, Western Power, said in the video: “The benefits of Project FALCON are to increase the capacity of the network within the Milton Keynes area, and to enable customers to connect to low-carbon technologies”

Watch the video above to see how the initiative is progressing and to hear about the business outcomes achieved and expected. Read the write-up (Western Power Distribution Chooses Cisco for Low Carbon Study) that gives some more background to the project and some technical insight as to how you might benefit from this approach. As always, I’m indebted to the folks in Cisco and the customer for the source material. A big ‘Thank you’!

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Introducing Rick Geiger to the NEW Cisco Energy Blog

April 14, 2014 at 11:35 am PST

rgeiger2It is with great pleasure I introduce you to a senior thought-leader from Cisco, Rick Geiger.

As some of you will know, Rick Geiger has been with Cisco for 7 years, and was formerly Director of Engineering in Cisco’s Physical Security Business Unit (now part of the IOTG, or Internet of Things Group)

Prior to joining Cisco, Rick was VP Engineering for GE Security in Physical Security, video surveillance and access control, so he knows a thing or two about Security.  Rick has in depth experience in the global utility market with more than 10 years as VP Engineering and Chief Technical Officer for Itron. Itron is a key partner of Cisco, as many of you will know.

Presently Rick is Executive Director for Utilities and Smart Grid, on Cisco’s Value Acceleration team (formerly Business Transformation Team), and Rick and the Smart Grid Vertical Team serve the Americas Utility markets with Secure, Resilient and Scalable network solutions for smart grid, advanced metering, distribution automation, utility telemetry and energy management. Despite his USA remit, Rick is often asked to represent Cisco internationally.

Rick is also on the Gridwise Alliance Board of Directors and an IEEE Senior Member and Member of the Power and Energy Society. You can view Rick’s Biography here, along with his posts, including those on the Internet of Everything Blog: The Impact of Distributed Generation. Feel free  to contact Rick by commenting on his future posts and engaging in the conversation!

Welcome Rick!

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Welcome to the NEW Energy Blog from Cisco

I have great pleasure in introducing you to the new Cisco Energy Industry Blog.

Did you know that the Energy Industry is one of Cisco’s fastest growing sectors served with huge opportunities for Cisco partners and customers? You probably know that Cisco has historically served the Enterprise IT and Network buying centers of most energy companies around the globe, but did you know that Cisco has a growing presence in the Operational Technologies areas of these companies solving real business, technical and process challenges? Yes, the Internet of Everything is here!

Nico Smit Welcomes you to the new Energy Blog and the re-invigorated YouTube and Facebook social media for Cisco Energy

That’s because over the past decade we’ve pushed the relevance of Cisco well beyond the concerns of the networking engineer and are now leading the dialogue, solutions and innovations for energy firms’ lines of business—crossing the entire value chain and ecosystems that compose an energy enterprise organization. With a complement of collaboration, virtualization and video service architectures that we provide over the network, Cisco has proven to be a trusted partner for a variety of firms in the energy sector, transforming their businesses and creating long-term competitive advantage through new models for customer growth, product and business innovation, agility and operational excellence.

Oil and Gas - huge future opportunity

Future opportunity for Oil and Gas. What’s your view?

So what can you expect from this blog? Who are the people contributing, and what are their backgrounds? What are Cisco’s views and opinions about the Energy Industry? Why would you be interested?

We want you to be part of the dialogue. Cisco has gained increased influence with energy companies not only in terms of technical guidance, but also in terms of business advice and thought leadership. The goal of this blog is to share and broaden that perspective. Read the blogs, watch the videos and give us your comments and opinions. We welcome your viewpoint and constructive feedback. Check out our other social media platforms: Cisco Energy YouTube Channel, Cisco Manufacturing and Energy Facebook, and the Cisco Energy Twitter feed. Read More »

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Making Lives Easier, One Drop at a Time

Jason Kohn

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

We often think of technology in terms of flashy gadgets and slick new applications. But the technology with the biggest impact is often more prosaic. It’s about using straightforward tools to solve basic problems that make people’s lives better.

One of the best examples I’ve seen of this recently is NextDrop, out of Hubli in the state of Karnataka, India. NextDrop is attacking a problem that affects millions of people in India and in much of the developing world: unpredictable and unreliable water supply.

Read More »

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