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Sep 07, 2012

Alstom, Cisco in digital substation solutions partnership

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French electricity major Alstom Grid and networking giant Cisco have signed a commercial and technology agreement to develop new digital substation solutions for electricity grids.

The collaboration would leverage Alstom’s smart-grid expertise in digital substation solutions and Cisco’s expertise in connected grid solutions and Internet Protocol (IP) communication technologies to provide a solution that supports the industry’s grid modernisation efforts, Alstom says in a statement.

“The joint solution integrates Cisco’s rugged substation-grade Connected Grid routers and switches with communications and cyber- security functions, and with Alstom’s DS Agile control system for substation automation. It will enable IP-based communication performance for integrated cyber security, distributed monitoring and controls. This will provide key energy and information- transfer hubs within modern-grid architectures.”

The Alstom-Cisco solution will enable utility operators to provide comprehensive protection to manage security policies and user access to critical resources, as well as detect and mitigate possible cyber attacks across the entire grid infrastructure. The digital substation architecture incorporates comprehensive security controls that are based on National Institute of Standards and Technology and International Electrotechnical Commission recommendations.

The Alstom-Cisco system will enable easy design and integration of communication infrastructure, with critical protection, as well as control, asset monitoring and grid-management equipment.

“The intelligence of the validated digital substation schemes will allow close monitoring of the load capacity of plant equipment and permits operation of grid equipment closer to set limits. Additionally, the substation network supports existing and new communication standards such as IEC 61850 and the prioritisation of control data traffic over nonoperations data traffic,” Alstom reports.

Further, the joint digital-substation solu- tion, based on Cisco’s multiservice network and Alstom’s new intelligent electronic devices, will provide utilities with the flexi- bility to deploy multiple applications over a common network infrastructure. The solution uses a layered architecture approach, enabling it to support wired and wireless communications over the same converged network.

The system also enables asset managers to implement preventive maintenance programs, resulting in longer asset life and lower maintenance costs. The solution also provides intelligent systems for substa- tion operators to monitor and control all substation assets to reduce operating costs, according to Alstom.

“Cisco’s collaboration with Alstom brings together two sets of complementary technolo- gies that will allow our joint customers to secure their operations, achieve cost savings and extract greater value from existing technology infrastructure. We look forward to our continued collaboration with Alstom to develop the most effective substation solutions for the industry,” says Cisco Connected Energy Networks VP and GM Lionel Chocron.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
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