Entergy launches BPL smart grid pilot project


Boise, ID/New York, NY, USA — Metering.com —
Entergy Corporation has launched a Broadband over Powerline (BPL) pilot project in Baton Rouge, LA in conjunction with PowerGrid Communications, aimed at demonstrating smart grid applications and broadband service delivery to customers.

Entergy, with over 2.7 million retail customers in Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi, will work with PowerGrid over the coming year to identify ways to use BPL technology to improve its core utility services, reduce operating costs, and increase the overall reliability of the electric grid.

One of the key applications that BPL delivers is the capability to automatically read power and other utility meters on a real-time basis, providing the utility with the electric power demand down to the consumer level. BPL can also deliver high-speed data service to customers including Internet Access, Voice over IP (VOIP), Video on Demand and Always-On Security. BPL networks can extend inside the home to every power outlet.

As part of the Baton Rouge trial, PowerGrid demonstrated automatic meter reading, grid outage reporting, Internet Access/ISP, VOIP telephone service, Video on Demand and video surveillance. New applications for the broadband network will be introduced as the trial moves to the second phase in Little Rock, AR.

“We are very excited about launching this pilot. Entergy has been one of the most innovative power providers in the United States and has shown a strong commitment to providing a high level of customer service through technology and people,” said Chris Britton CEO of PowerGrid Communications.

“Our objectives in this pilot are to test the technology and its capabilities, validate the economics of deploying BPL, especially in rural areas, and test the ability to use this technology to locate power outages, read electric meters, provide security monitoring, and do remote switching of distribution equipment,” Ed Melendreras, Entergy’s vice president of sales and marketing said.

The initial services will include the use of PowerGrid’s GridEye system to locate power outages, read electric meters and do remote switching of distribution equipment.