Electrical Business

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AltaLink chooses Alcatel-Lucent to link its substations


February 21, 2010
By Anthony Capkun

AltaLink, a fully independent transmission company responsible for about 11,600 kilometres of transmission lines and 260 substations in Alberta, has selected Alcatel-Lucent to build its new IP communications network linking those substations.

The network will support mission-critical electric utility applications
and data requirements throughout AltaLink’s service territory, and
enable to continue to evolve its internal data networks to offer
customers electric power when they need it—economically and reliably.

“AltaLink has taken an innovative step as the first electric utility in
Canada to build an IP/MPLS (Internet Protocol/Multiprotocol Label
Switching) infrastructure to enable us to better manage our transmission
infrastructure to ensure more reliability, safety and cost efficiency,”
said Clinton Struth, AltaLink’s principal engineer-Network
Communications. “By engineering the network to support critical
applications such as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)
and teleprotection (TPR), the Alcatel-Lucent IP/MPLS solution plays a
key role in our next-generation network strategy aimed at combining and
improving service delivery, and positions us for future growth and
network expansion.”

AltaLink expects the pilot to be completed by mid year, resulting in
live data traffic being processed in the summer, and marks the start of
the technology deployment that will occur over the next five years.

“More and more utilities worldwide are transitioning to IP/MPLS
technology,” said Alex Giosa, president of Alcatel-Lucent Canada. “The
fact that AltaLink has selected Alcatel-Lucent to help implement its
Digital Networking Strategy underscores the confidence AltaLink has in
us and our ability to serve the Canadian utility market.”

Alcatel-Lucent will supply products from its service router (SR)
portfolio, including the 7750 and 7705, all managed by the 5620 Service
Aware Manager and 5650 Control Plane Assurance Manager. AltaLink also
will deploy the Alcatel-Lucent VPN Firewall Brick, as well as the
Alcatel-Lucent 6855 Hardened LAN switch, a Gigabit ethernet switch
specifically built for IP network deployments where environmental
operating conditions are unusually demanding.

ALCATEL-LUCENT