Smart City

Smart City Sentinel

Private LTE and Grid Modernization: A Collaboration Between Nokia and Xcel Energy

By Alex Passett

A smart city is basically a gigantic, interconnected puzzle. Every piece (e.g. traffic lights, power grids, waste management) must remain in constant communication with all of the others for the city to retain this “smartness,” and a reliable and secure network acts like an invisible glue that holds all of the pieces together. Connectivity is key.

In this vein, private LTE networks – an oft-preferred connectivity solution for emergent smart city infrastructure – offers a direct, high-speed pathway for valuable data. On a public network, data may not be delivered as expeditiously; for instance, a delay in the receiving of traffic light information could lead to congestion or even accidents. Or, if data from a grid isn’t utilized properly, results could range from minor (but still undue) outages to full-blown blackouts.

Enter Nokia and Xcel Energy.

Multinational telecommunications, IT and consumer electronics provider Nokia knows that smarter networks are enabling the next technological era, thus the building-out of more sustainable, productive and accessible environments with enhanced networks is a must.

Xcel Energy, as a premier energy provider, shares a philosophy similar to Nokia’s. Being a regulated electric utility and natural gas delivery company that serves more than 5.8 million customers across parts of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and both North and South Dakota, Xcel is widely trusted in delivering clean, essential energy via a comprehensive portfolio of energy-centric products and services.

Nokia in one hand, Xcel in the other.

Put those hands together, and you get news that broke just earlier this morning:

Today, Nokia announced that it will be working with Xcel; on the modernization of grid operations, specifically. The project will include the deployment of Nokia’s private LTE, helping support more secure and reliable data connectivity, plus new levels of ground-breaking automation, to boot.

Notably, Nokia’s network technologies will also back a growing mix of renewable power sources for Xcel, further optimizing energy delivery to customers.

Per Matt Young, Head of Enterprise for North America at Nokia:

“With this critical network deployment, Xcel Energy can converge multiple applications onto a single robust, reliable and secure mission-critical private LTE network for more efficient operations. And, as its digitalization needs evolve, it will benefit from a wide ecosystem of compelling Industry 4.0 applications to support current and future use cases and achieve its operational, environmental, efficiency and safety goals.”

And per Tim Peterson, SVP and CTO at Xcel:

“We know our customers rely on us to deliver clean, affordable and reliable energy. As the first major U.S. power provider to announce a plan to truly deliver 100% carbon-free electricity to customers by 2050, the Nokia private LTE network will support us on our journey, allowing us to leverage better field communications and greater intelligence across the grid for optimized and sustainable operations.”

Read more here.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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