Alcatel has signed a multimillion-dollar agreement with Great River Energy, a generation and transmission cooperative in Minnesota, to supply and install a microwave communications network covering multiple phases. Alcatel will replace and upgrade the company’s existing analogue microwave radios in order to provide better internal communications capability and allow it to monitor and control its power generation and transmission systems.

Using its point-to-point wireless transmission technology expertise Alcatel will provide an end-to-end solution based on its MDR-8000 radios to the Minnesota electric cooperative whose first priority is to improve and enhance the generation and delivery of electric power to its 28 member distribution cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. By using this system, Great River Energy will increase the capacity of its internal communications network and augment its Supervisory, Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) capabilities to obtain faster and more accurate information on the status of the power grid as well as providing improved ability to control its operation.

The MDR-8000 is particularly suitable for the transport of remote monitoring and control information from utility company sensors, backhaul of land mobile radio signals, and emergency restoration of communication networks. The reliability and scalability of the microwave transport platform will not only expand Great River Energy’s visibility of its critical infrastructure, but will enable it to reduce costs and improve reliability.