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Alstom validates new Broadband Power Line Carrier technology for medium voltage power grid applications


Since 2011, the SICAE (a power distributor of French rural communities) for the Somme and Cambraisis region (Northern France) has, together with Alstom, installed communication points in around 50 grid nodes piloting new telecommunication solutions carried through medium voltage power lines. Alstom Grid’s technology allows the integration of a wide range of services through the same backbone such as telephony, video surveillance, remote meter reading, real-time data exchange with grid controls and active demand response management.

The results of this pilot, conducted jointly by Alstom Grid telecommunication teams and SICAE technicians have exceeded expectations from both partners in terms of performance, quality of service improvements, and operational costs optimisation. Considering of the success of this first experience, Alstom and the SICAE de la Somme et du Cambraisis will extend their collaboration to include several new sites as of 2013.

Developed by Alstom, the technology utilises broadband medium voltage power line carrier over 20 kV networks integrating digital information together: telephony, video images, and grid data. The technology opens new broadband communication capability within each of the equipped Grid Nodes reaching free bandwidth of dozens of Mbps over complex grid topologies. It facilitates the deployment of smart grid solutions to better support distribution network reliability while allowing the integration of intermittent renewables and management of active demand. 

Similar pilot operations have already been deployed or are in the process of being deployed in Brazil and India.

Patrick Plas, Senior Vice-President of Alstom Grid’s Power Electronics and Automation division, stated: “The introduction of this technology proves Alstom’s expertise in telecommunications that are critical to power operators. It opens the way for real-time information management in secondary networks, which is a critical factor in deploying the smart grid.”

Christophe Chauvet, Managing Director of the SICAE de La Somme et du Cambraisis, is pleased to add that “Our partnership with Alstom in deploying this new technology will help the SICAE become a leader in the integration and utilisation of autonomous telecommunication solutions for electric power distributors, while helping us to get ready for an optimal integration of renewable energy.”


About Alstom

Alstom is one of the world’s leaders in power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure and sets the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for all thermal (coal, nuclear, gas...) and renewable (hydro, wind, solar...) energy sources. It offers a wide range of solutions for power transmission, with a focus on smart grids. The Group employs 92,000 people in around 100 countries. It had sales of €20 billion and booked close to €22 billion in orders in 2011/12.


Alstom Grid has 130 years of expertise in electrical grids. Whether for utilities or electro-intensive industries or facilitating the trading of energy, Alstom Grid brings power to its customers' projects. Alstom Grid ranks among the top 3 in electrical transmission sector with an annual sales turnover of more than €4 billion in 2011. It has 20,000 employees and over 90 manufacturing and engineering sites worldwide. At the heart of the development of Smart Grid, Alstom Grid offers products, services and integrated energy management solutions across the full energy value chain—from power generation, through transmission and distribution grids and to the large end user. 


Press contacts 
Emmanuelle Chatelain, Isabelle Tourancheau – Tel. +33 1 41 49 32 95 /39 95,  

Nathalie Bourotte (Alstom Grid) – Tel +33 1 49 01 62 17