With just under two million customers, BC Hydro is deploying the first standards based multi-services in production FAN network with IPv6 802.15.4/RPL mesh to manage the Automated Metering Infrastructure(AMI), Distribution Automation(DA) and other advanced gird applications.
The design is based on Cisco’s Connected Grid Solution utilizing Cisco’s Field Area Router (CGR) and standards based Smart Meter Field Area Network (FAN) technologies and Itron OpenWay® CENTRON® smart meter as well as Itron’s meter data management, collection engine and reporting software.
BC Hydro is fast moving to build an IPv6 network able of supporting 2 Million routable IPV6 addresses in a secure, resilient, and manageable way.
BC Hydro has 41 Dam sites, 30 Hydro facilities and 9 Thermal units and, from a transmission perspective, has 18,000 km of Transmission lines 260 substations, and 22,000 steel towers!
On top of that, BC Hydro has 56,000 km of Distribution lines Approx. 900K poles, over 300K of transformers that serve 17 Non-integrated areas.
The area covered by BC Hydro is equal to the area of California, Oregon and Washington state combined. Impressed/? You will be…
“We are pleased with all the accomplishments to date and the benefits we are already seeing, including  streamlined operations,  improved system visibility, and  revenue recovery. We look forward to realizing the full benefits of the IPv6 network architecture in 2014.”
By way of history, under a mandate from the British Columbia government to implement AMI, BC Hydro awarded Itron and Cisco a $270 million contract for smart meters and networking, Gary Murphy, chief project officer for smart metering at BC Hydro, told Smart Grid Today in 2011 (SGT, 2011-Aug-10).
That brings us to a key part of the customer solution. Itron. Itron is a partner of Cisco, and together we have developed some of the most innovative metering solutions for energy customers.
A couple of the objectives of the partnership deliver direct value to our customers:
- Deliver true multi-service, multi-application (applications from metering to grid to workforce) capabilities over a common network infrastructure with standardized and robust security that any utility can implement.
- Optimize the total cost of ownership of these networks by spreading the cost over a greater number of grid applications and devices.
The way forward is clear. And foggy. That’s because Cisco is delivering its vision of Fog Computing to accelerate value from billions of connected devices – meters included! More about that next time when I talk about how Cisco IOx enables applications to run directly at the network edge to overcome rising operational costs and spark new innovations in the Internet of Things.
Until next time – keep the power on!