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Rural Cooperative's Trial Uses TV White Spaces for Smart Grid Technologies

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By: SGN Staff

You’ve got to give credit to the Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative (PSREC) in Northern California, which has teamed up with Google and Spectrum Bridge to try something apparently no one else has. They’re launching a Smart Grid wireless network trial utilizing TV White Spaces, which are broadcast channels not being used due to the switchover from analog to digital TV last year. With a service area in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, PSREC has had technical challenges with regards to wireless coverage. White Spaces can penetrate foliage and provide non-line-of-sight connectivity, giving PSREC an opportunity to enable Smart Grid technologies that can help improve operational efficiencies and its SCADA systems as well as extend broadband connectivity.

 

Quick Take: It’s an interesting cast of characters and a fascinating project on multiple levels - certainly one that will be watched closely by utilities across the country with challenges similar to those of PSREC.

 

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