Alcatel to supply 14-plant U.S. microwave system

The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $2.74 million contract to Alcatel USA Marketing Inc. of Plano, Texas, to replace the Wyoming Area Office microwave communications system that links 14 hydroelectric plants.

The existing system, installed more than 20 years ago, is the primary communications medium for the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system that operates the plants and associated facilities in BuRec's Great Plains Region in Wyoming and Montana. The system also carries voice and data communications to remote power facilities that do not have access to commercial voice and data communications systems.

The SCADA system controls 50-MW Canyon Ferry and 250-MW Yellowtail power plants in Montana and 12 Wyoming plants: 41.4-MW Alcova, 15-MW Boysen, 18-MW Buffalo Bill, 66.8-MW Fremont Canyon, 38-MW Glendo, 6.4-MW Guernsey, 5-MW Heart Mountain, 36-MW Kortes, 1.6-MW Pilot Butte, 51.75-MW Seminoe, 3-MW Shoshone, and 4.5-MW Spirit Mountain.

Work to install new system, announced March 9, will satisfy a requirement that the federal government discontinue use of the 2 gigahertz microwave frequency to accommodate non-federal use of the frequency. BuRec's power customers are funding the work.

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