AT&T entered into an agreement with Cooper Power Systems, a division of Cooper Industries (CBE), to jointly market and sell to utility companies smart grid sensor devices that are certified on AT&T’s wireless data network.
Utilities can receive real-time system performance data to efficiently operate their electric grids, reduce the need for on-site inspections, and identify and solve problems that could cause outages or increase system energy losses.
The announcement is the latest expansion of AT&T’s efforts with smart grid technology in the M2M (machine to machine) space to use wireless technology to streamline business processes and provide real-time monitoring of energy assets. AT&T will co-sell two products with Cooper Power Systems under this agreement: OutageAdvisor and VARAdvisor.
AT&T will offer Cooper Power System’s OutageAdvisor solution, which provides utilities with a reliable means to locate and isolate problems on electricity delivery lines such as faults, and communicate a permanent fault event within the system. By transmitting the information in real-time over the AT&T wireless network, the solution reduces the costly and time consuming fault-chasing methods that stress system components exposed to fault currents, as well as reduces the likelihood of an outage.
AT&T will also offer Cooper Power Systems VARAdvisor, a low cost sensor alternative to manual inspection of equipment that controls the voltage supplied to consumers, which helps to reduce costly and time consuming on-site inspections. For utility companies, the VARAdvisor helps to reduce operation and maintenance expense by monitoring capacitor bank fuse failures and reporting fuse failures over the AT&T wireless network. Early detection of failures improves online time for capacitor banks, keeping the grid operating efficiently.
Over the last decade, AT&T has invested significant resources in implementing security features on its global network and best practices that comply with national and international standards. AT&T has employed such practices in order to help secure network resources, data centers and customer facing network interfaces, in line with many of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) recommendations. In addition, AT&T offers security management services and business continuity and disaster recovery services which can also help utilities comply with NERC CIP recommendations.