Smart Grid for Power Utilities

The power grid is vital to delivering the energy that people have come to expect in their personal and professional lives, and ensuring the safe, reliable and secure delivery of high-quality power is power utilities’ primary objective. While they have done this very successfully for many years, aging power grids combined with increasing demand are now leading many power utilities to transform the way they do business by using smart grid technologies. To enable this transformation, power utilities are taking a closer look at a different kind of power — the power of their communications network to enable the smart grid and its real-time applications.

With an Alcatel-Lucent adaptive grid communications network, utilities are transforming their operational communications to enable an End-to-End Smart Grid to improve power delivery, power quality, and operational efficiency while incorporating green energy and increasing customer intimacy.  Communications is not the core competency of utilities; but communications is central to meeting the challenges utilities face. Alcatel-Lucent has decades of experience in helping power utilities measure and manage the flow of power in their networks.  From the most critical applications such as teleprotection and SCADA, to the latest Smart Grid applications, Alcatel-Lucent has been at the heart of the progressive transformation of communications technologies for utilities.


The Smart Grid solution uses a range of Alcatel-Lucent and third-party subsystems to offer a complete communications service - from initial concept planning, design and implementation, to operations and maintenance. All solutions are designed to meet stringent industry-specific standards pertaining to service performance, availability and operating environmental conditions.

The Smart Grid includes solutions in the following areas:

  • Critical Wide Area Network (WAN) - IP/MPLS, Optics, Microwave and TDM products.
    IEC61850 Substation Automation Station and Process Bus, utilizing ALU’s IEEE 1613/IEC 61850-3 substation-certified LAN switches.
  • Field Area network (FAN) - DSL, FTTx, 4G LTE, WiMAX and Wi-Fi. Smart Meter / Neighborhood Area Network (NAN) Communications, FTTH, xDSL, PLC , BPL, WiFi, and 802.15.4g based wireless mesh networks.
  • Network and data management – operational support systems to manage the grid and communications dependencies, and to automate processes.
  • Cyber security – end-to-end design, including security assessments and risk mitigation strategies along with deployment of integrated firewall, encryption, IDS/IPS and anti-virus solution components.


Alcatel-Lucent also provides a range of services which ensure project success and minimize risk; acting as the single turnkey provider for the products, solutions and integration required to support reliable and secure operations.

Alcatel-Lucent provides program management, governed by strict SLAs, to ensure that every vendor and every part of the project meets budgets and deadlines.

  • Consulting Services – to provide a cost-effective and low-risk evolution to a reliable, secure smart grid through:
    • Network assessment, planning and optimization
    • Technology and applications evaluation and planning
    • Operations analysis and planning
    • Business case development and recommended actions
  • Multivendor Turnkey Integration Services – to provide highly-disciplined systems and processes, including third-party product integration for new utility infrastructures, such as electricity generation plants (for example, wind farms and nuclear plants) and transmission/distribution networks. Integration services include:
    • Design, testing and optimization of multivendor network installations
    • Site installation and outside plant services for the construction of fiber optic plant and radio towers
    • Software application and network management platforms integration
  • Managed Network Services - to reduce cost of operations and maintenance, while safe-guarding the security and integrity of networks with stringent SLAs and processes. Options include 24x7 operation, off-hours operation, build-operate-transfer, and in-sourcing of utility resources.


What can End-to-End Smart Grid do for your business?

By applying an advanced communications network, the grid becomes ‘smart’. It enables real-time information and control capability to be distributed wherever it is needed — from control centers, field personnel, substations, security operations centers, to consumers and partners. The result is improved power delivery and quality, operational efficiency, increased customer engagement and incorporation of distributed and renewable energy resources.

Improve power delivery and quality

  • Secure, reliable two-way communications connect real-time monitoring and control points throughout transmission and distribution grids.
  • Automated load balancing can reduce outage risk, equipment stress and energy loss.
  • Power quality management can reduce voltage sags, harmonic problems and energy spikes.
  • Automated switching and protection systems can isolate faults, restore service and avoid cascading failures.

Increase operational efficiency

  • Automation and analytics made possible by interoperable communication networks.
  • Detailed asset monitoring extends equipment life by ensuring optimal operation and reduces the risk of outages caused by over-stressed equipment such as transformers.
  • Self-diagnosing equipment remotely alerts personnel, reducing the need for periodic maintenance and allowing for intervention before failure or misoperation occurs.
  • Workforce management, operational and business communications leveraged in a common network infrastructure.

Engage customers in energy management

  • Demand response, direct load control, and distributed energy resources enable utilities to balance supply and demand and reduce peak load.
  • Real-time energy usage data from smart meters, allowing consumers to shift energy use from peak times and better balance energy economy and home comfort priorities.
  • Incentives for reduced or more intelligent energy usage.
  • Net metering to enable customers to sell energy from renewables such as photovoltaic (PV) cells back into the grid.
  • Integration of meter data management and contact center to provide more informed customer service.

Incorporate green energy

  • Maintain grid stability as renewable energy sources are added and power flows become more complex.
  • Allowing industrial-scale renewable energy generation to supplement grid energy.
  • Meet environmental targets and regulatory requirements.

How can Alcatel-Lucent help?

  • Each project is unique and requires a single solution which fits every customer’s requirements, as well as its business and technical challenges. Alcatel-Lucent is engaged to add value to its customers through:
    • Advising utilities on how to transform their communications to support their business evolution,
    • Providing utilities with the communications solution that will meet their specific needs,
    • Mitigating the risk of evolving to new technologies by providing a full suite of services to manage the transformation,
    • Offering to operate the infrastructure on their behalf, while their staff is training, or alternatively to continue to operate their infrastructure going forward.
    • Utilities around the world rely on Alcatel-Lucent to advise them on the best smart grid solutions, with carrier-grade reliability. All this leverages Alcatel-Lucent’s depth of experience through its enviable portfolio of references that provide extensive experience on which operators can rely.

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