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Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) - Smart Grid Broadband-over-Power Lines Communications Pilot Program
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Lead Organization:
Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA)
HQ Location:
San Juan, US territories
Project Contact Information:
Address:

PO Box 364267, San Juan, PR 00936-4267

 
Project Summary:

The Puerto Rico based power company, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) has a modern electric power system that serves the entire main island of Puerto Rico and its two adjacent islands Vieques and Culebra. The system generates, transmits and distributes electricity to 1,449,211 clients [1]. It had announced to launch its smart grid pilot program by joining hands with the Alabama based Broadband over Power Line (BPL) technology provider IBEC (International Broadband Electric Communications) in 2010 [2, 3]. During the implementation of the pilot project, IBEC and PowerNET International (“PowerNET”), another partner in the pilot program, were jointly responsible for "coordinating and managing the participation of any necessary third-party, Smart Grid enabling vendors utilizing IBEC’s BPL communications network for the purpose of demonstrating alternative Smart Grid technologies" [4].

According to [5], the smart grid project being implemented in the PREPA service area included the deployment of smart meters that allow remote turn on and shut off of end-user loads and detect areas where theft is prevalent. First smart meter replacements started in early 2010. PREPA was already using TWACS (Two way automated communications system) provided by Distribution Control Systems, Inc. for its automatic meter reading modules [6].

In [7], it was stated that PREPA had been partnering with PREPA Network to create and enable a robust and reliable Smart Grid Communication Network. PREPA Networks is a wholly owned subsidiary of PREPA Holdings, LLC created to commercially develop PREPA’s Optical infrastructure. This Smart Grid Communication Network will rely on the
Advanced Optical Infrastructure and PREPA Net’s WiMax Network. It was planned to have 16 nodes (1Gb) fiber optic backbone.

References:

[1] PREPA Is... URL: http://www.prepa.com/AEEES2_ENG.ASP
[2] TD World, February 2010. URL: http://tdworld.com/smart_grid_automation/puerto-rico-smart-grid-bpl-0210/
[3] Metering.com, February 2010. URL: http://www.metering.com/node/17066
[4] IBEC Press Release, "PUERTO RICO APPROVES HIGH VOLTAGE BROADBAND OVER POWER LINES TRIAL", February 2010. URL: http://www.amperion.com/Amperion%20IBEC%20PREPA%20press%20release%20Nove...
[5] Eng. Miguel A. Cordero, "Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority: Company Overview and Project Development", presented at the Puerto Rico Credit Conference 2010, Feb 26, 2010. URL: https://gdbapp.gdb-pur.com/prcreditconference/documents/2010PRCC-PREPA.pdf
[6] Metering.com, December 2007. URL: http://www.metering.com/node/11298
[7] Jorge L. Hernández, "Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s Smart Grid", Puerto Rico Telecom Conference, November 2011. URL: http://www.camarapr.org/TELECOM/Presentations/Jorge-L-Hernandez-PREPA.pdf