Rio Grande Electric adopts satellite asset monitoring

20 June 2003 - Rio Grande Electric Co-operative, Inc. (RGEC) now uses satellite communications to monitor energy conditions across its rural energy distribution network. As part of its new enterprise energy management system, the Texas-based electric utility identified satellite as the most cost-effective way to communicate with the intelligent energy meters being installed at the company's remote substations.

The new energy management system uses a network of ION meters and software from Victoria BC-based Power Measurement to help Rio Grande Electric control the cost, quality and reliability of the power it offers to its customers.

RGEC provides electric service throughout 20 counties across Texas and New Mexico, but according to Mike Wade, technical services manager for RGEC, the remote locations made a traditional telephone link to these meters impractical. "We realized that the high cost of running a phone line to each of these remote substations, plus the ongoing fees for using each line would not present an affordable solution," said Wade, "and because cell phones aren't supported in most of these locations either, a satellite link was the clear choice."

To outfit each substation, Power Measurement worked with RGEC to pre-assemble new electrical panels, equipping each with several ION 7350 meters (one for each feeder) communicating through a single ION 7600 or ION 8500 revenue-accurate meter. The revenue meter acts as a gateway, collecting and passing data from all feeder meters over an Ethernet link to a satellite radio.

RGEC installed completed panels at twelve of its most remote substations, and then equipped the main headquarters with a PC workstation running Power Measurement's ION Enterprise energy management software. The meters continually monitor electrical conditions at each substation, and communicate by satellite via high-speed Ethernet link to the software. With this arrangement, RGEC technicians can instantly check the status at any substation; a procedure that previously required a long drive of several hours each way.

The new system provides detailed power quality information, and includes an alarm feature that instantly notifies key personnel of any power outages, sags or swells. Plus, the meters automatically record consumption as interval data logs, and distribute this information as reports, both to the co-operative's power supplier and to the local independent system operator, ERCOT. Together, this detailed information helps RGEC to continually review and improve its engineering processes, while providing its rural customers with a reliable source of quality power.

Sponsored by FLSmidth

Related Articles

Profiling Geothermal Energy in North America

North America holds diverse geologic conditions, economic and political contexts, and geothermal experiences.

Energy Reform Package to Increase Competition And Private Sector Opportunities in the Mexican Power Industry

In April, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto proposed a legislative reform package that was approved by the Mexican Congress, overhauling the nation's energy industries.

Follow Power Engineering on Twitter
Latest News

Wylfa nuclear power plant to restart in a week

The Wylfa nuclear power plant in the UK is expected to restart soon after being shut down sin...
Coal Ash

Power Engineering Photo of the Day

03/25 Henry Hub Average Natural Gas Spot Prices

03/25 Henry Hub Average Natural Gas Spot Prices

The Henry Hub is the pricing point for natural gas futures contracts traded on the New York M...

Westinghouse asked to take 49% share of Bulgaria nuclear power plant

Bulgaria has asked Westinghouse Electric Co. to take up a 49 percent stake in the country’s n...

Dominion Va. Power proposes $1 bn, natural gas-fired power plant

Dominion Virginia Power (NYSE: D) said the company is proposing to build a $1 billion, 1,600-...

Weekly Coal Production Report

The Weekly Coal Production Report has been updated for the week ended March 21, 2015.

Westinghouse, German companies to offer nuclear decommissioning services

Westinghouse Electric Co. signed an agreement with HOCHTIEF team to offer integrated decommis...

ENEC files for nuclear power plant operating licenses

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp. (ENEC) filed the operating license application for two nucl...

Power Engineering Current Issue

03/01/2014
Volume 118, Issue 3
1403PE-cover
Products Showcase
Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Power Industry Wire News

Perma-Fix Schedules Fourth Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call

Perma-Fix Schedules Fourth Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call

Murray Energy's Controlling Interest of Foresight Creates U.S. Coal Mining Giant, an Industrial Info News Alert

Murray Energy's Controlling Interest of Foresight Creates U.S. Coal Mining Giant, an In...

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Reports 2014 Year End Results

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Reports 2014 Year End Results

ISO Board Appoints New Member to EIM Transitional Committee

ISO Board Appoints New Member to EIM Transitional Committee

Technology Pioneer Brings Lifelong Passion for Innovation to BuildingDNA as New CTO

Technology Pioneer Brings Lifelong Passion for Innovation to BuildingDNA as New CTO

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>