Guam Taps Tropos for Smart Grid Rollout

By Jessica Binns, Contributing Editor — May 18, 2012

Guam Power Authority (GPA) has selected Tropos Networks as the network communications vendor for the utility's smart grid rollout across the island. Tropos and GPA have begun implementing the Tropos network to support GPA's smart grid rollout in 2012.

As part of GPA's overall smart grid project, the utility is implementing a reliable, multi-application Tropos GridCom network that meets its existing needs and future requirements as it moves to a comprehensive smart grid deployment. GPA will use the Tropos GridCom network to backhaul smart meter data, automate switches and reclosers in their distribution system, provide connectivity for communicating faulted circuit indicators and deliver critical data to field workers.

GPA selected the Tropos GridCom wireless communication system to achieve maximum benefit from its investment in AMI and other smart grid technologies. GPA's GridCom network will transfer data between smart meter data collectors and intelligent distribution automation devices in the field and smart grid application software located in GPA's corporate data center and its system control center.

"We chose a Tropos GridCom network because it supports communications for many smart grid applications simultaneously and its coverage enables connectivity for all of the smart grid devices we plan to deploy in the field," said Joaquin C. Flores, P.E., GPA general manager. "We were also impressed with Tropos' track record of successful smart grid projects and their team's deep understanding of smart grid communications and applications."

GPA is accelerating the modernization of its electric grid infrastructure through deployment of smart grid technologies to support the strategic delivery of energy saving services to their customers. With financial support from a Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), GPA's integrated solution provides automation to the island's electric distribution system, smart electric meters to more than 45,000 customers, and the infrastructure necessary to support two-way flow of energy and information. Half of the initiative's overall $34 million cost is being underwritten by SGIG funds with the remainder contributed through bond financing. The purpose of the project is to:

  • Improve reliability and stability of electric system, including outage management
  • Reduce operating costs and manage peak demand
  • Inform and educate consumers in retail and wholesale electricity markets
  • Accommodate distributed generation
The Tropos portion of the broader $34 million GPA smart grid program is expected to pump more than $1 million into Guam's economy through the purchase of goods and services from local companies. The Tropos GridCom network implementation is projected to create up to 10 full-time jobs on the island.


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