Broadband over Powerlines Picking up Speed

According to Energybiz, the electricity industry has viewed broadband over powerline (BPL) technology as an attractive revenue generator. Several successful technology trials of BPL systems have been conducted. The industry is exploring using BPL for a variety of applications.

BPL can provide high-speed Internet access to residential customers, which offers utilities a stream of additional revenue. In addition, the technology can collect information and transmit messages to sensors and meters placed along power grids, transmission networks and delivery systems. These applications can cut a utility’s operational expenditures, improve service quality and help utilities implement new pricing models. In addition, utilities can use the sensors installed as part of a BPL system to monitor voltage and detect outages.

Industry analysts say the immediate access to information the sensors provide would enable utilities to respond more rapidly to outages, which would cut costs. Utilities also could use the system to provide real-time pricing to customers, which would allow purchasers to lower their consumption when rates are at their highest. EC

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