Irish energy company ESB Networks has awarded a contract to Sigma Wireless and Nokia for the supply and installation of a new LTE-based private wireless system over a three-year period.
According to Nokia, a converged private LTE and IP/MPLS FAN is a single communications platform that can support use cases for OT and IT, IoT and launch new services and business models.
A converged Field Area Network (FAN) allows a utility to start with its legacy use cases, adding new use cases as they expand and execute its digitalisation and automation strategies.
The telecommunications network will allow ESB Networks to integrate more renewable energy onto the grid and decarbonise the network through enhanced grid monitoring and control along with field force enablement.
Nicholas Tarrant, ESB Networks managing director, commented in a statement: “The purpose-built private telecommunications network now being developed will be a key enabler in delivering integration of renewable energy to the grid, decarbonisation of the electricity network and the electrification of heat and transport amongst other benefits. As such, this private, reliable, and secure mobile network will be an indispensable precursor to delivering a Net Zero-ready electricity network.”
The new solution will offer ESB Networks the following advantages:
- Distribution automation (DA) to improve grid reliability, efficiency and agility;
- Distributed Energy Resources (DER) integration to monitor and control interconnection;
- Safeguarding both IP and Ethernet data traffic end-to-end, securing your network and use cases against cyber threats;
- The network capabilities facilitate use cases with IEC 61850/GOOSE and peer-to-peer multipoint communications. It is a simple evolution to 5G when your use cases require it.
Phil Siveter, UK & Ireland CEO at Nokia said: “Enabling the decarbonising of energy grids while ensuring resilient critical infrastructure is an opportunity that we are helping customers address across the world.
“We are delighted that ESB Networks and Sigma Wireless entrust Nokia to deploy private LTE infrastructure running over their converged IP/MPLS backhaul network for critical grid communications to support the modernization and digitization of the energy grid throughout the Republic of Ireland.”