Broadband Powerline Ethernet Connects Puerto Rico Homes

  • Posted on: 22 November 2010
  • By: chw staff

As part of Puerto Rico’s Smart Grid Initiative, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) has selected PowerNET International in partnership with Amperion to implement a trial broadband solution over high voltage powerlines communications network. The project will allow the island to implement a new communication infrastructure using its existing high-voltage electric power lines and infrastructure.

The technology was developed by Amperion and International Broadband Electric Communications with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2007. This implementation seems to be the biggest for the technology although it has been successfully tested.  "Amperion has successfully demonstrated the benefits of HVBPL in recent field tests with American Electric Power (AEP) and we are very excited to work together with IBEC and bring this innovative solution to Puerto Rico," said Nachum Sadan, CEO of Amperion.

PREPA is a government owned business and is the main provider of electric power to all residential, commercial and government entities in Puerto Rico. As a pre-test to this project PREPA in conjunction with IBEC and PowerNET successfully implemented a Smart Grid BPL communications network. The network was to provide a high-speed, "always-on" communications pipeline over medium and low voltage power lines for the purpose of interconnecting and testing IP based Smart Grid energy monitoring and administrations systems.

"PREPA's trial project will demonstrate HVBPL's ability to communicate to substations without an existing telecommunication service. After successfully establishing BPL networks on low and medium voltage systems, HVBPL was a natural leap forward," said ," stated Scott E. Lee, Chief Executive Officer of IBEC, the nation's leader of BPL technology.