Entergy enters BPL world with Ambient pilot


John Joyce,
Washington, DC — (METERING.COM) — December 14, 2006 –  Fortune 500 integrated energy company Entergy has launched a trial broadband over powerline (BPL) deployment with BPL technology firm Ambient.

The pilot will last six months at Entergy’s West Markham office in Little Rock, Ark. Ambient will support Entergy in the design, management and maintenance of the BPL network. Entergy will make its substation and distribution facilities available to provide the powerline links.

The pilot is aimed at showing off what BPL can do to enable the 21st century grid – but triple play applications are planned also, Ambient has reported. "Entergy [is] one of the nation’s most innovative electricity utility providers," said Ambient CEO John Joyce, who’s been outspoken about his pickiness of utility partners.

To date Duke Power in Charlotte, NC, and Consolidated Edison in New York have been Ambient’s leading utility partners. "We value the opportunity to work with utilities such as Entergy – that validate the technology for further consideration of deploying – for the purpose of better serving their customers.”

According to Ambient BPL creates a two-way communications network with the potential to change how a utility operates. “That means not just reading meters remotely but advanced metering capabilities, including real-time meter reads, locating outages before customers call and proactively monitoring the distribution system to find failing or over-burdened equipment before it causes outages,” said Ambient in a statement.

Entergy is an integrated energy company serving power to about 2.7 million customers in Arkansas, New Orleans and throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.