AT&T and Cooper Power Systems to offer wireless smart grid sensors

AT&T and Cooper Power Systems to offer wireless smart grid sensors

AT&T has entered into an agreement with Cooper Power Systems to jointly market and sell to utility companies smart grid sensor devices that are certified on AT&T’s wireless data network.

Utilities can now 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.

This announcement is the latest expansion of AT&T’s efforts with smart grid technology in the machine to machine (M2M) 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 continues to focus its efforts in building out a robust set of smart grid capabilities for the global utility industry. By offering Cooper Power Systems’ smart grid sensors, we can now provide businesses the ability to monitor their distribution network in real-time,” said Chris Hill, vice president of mobility product management, AT&T Business Solutions.

He added that AT&T’s suite of M2M pricing plans designed specifically for the advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) market, nationwide coverage and dedicated M2M platform makes these wireless grid monitoring solutions an economical, secure, and rapidly deployable choice for utilities.

AT&T will offer Cooper Power Systems' 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, and also 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 expenses 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.

“Our nation’s utilities are under intense pressure to provide the latest technologies to their customers in a cost effective way,” stated Cooper Power Systemsgroup president, Mike Stoessl. “This agreement brings together Cooper Power Systems and AT&T, each of which is committed to leading the advancement of smart grid technology. Working together we will be able to help utilities streamline the way in which they gather the critical information they need to serve their customers.”

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.

AT&T offers mobility products and services to the utility industry, including wireless solutions for field service workers, outage detection and remote monitoring.

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