S&C Electric Company Forms New Communications Systems Business

March 18, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

S&C Electric Company has announced the creation of its new Communications Systems business. According to S&C, the industry needs modern, flexible and yet highly reliable communications systems to address the complex needs of the 21st century electric grid. In fact, a recent study sponsored by S&C found that 81% of participating industry professionals identified communications as the most important technology needed to deliver the benefits promised by the smart grid.

S&C, which has extensive experience in developing and deploying communication systems for distribution automation applications, has recognized a need to continue advancing communications solutions in order to implement a Smart Grid.

"Successful distribution automation places stringent demands on communications networks," said John Estey, President and CEO of S&C Electric Company. "As we worked to advance self-healing distribution systems, we realized there wasn’t a communications solution on the market that could adequately meet the latency, bandwidth, and reliability requirements for advanced distribution automation, so we began work to develop new solutions."

S&C’s SpeedNet™ Radios, which provide benchmark performance for automation and control applications, were introduced in 2009 to address the communication requirements for self-healing distribution grids. The formation of the Communication Systems business is the latest extension of S&C’s capabilities in providing leading communications systems for the Smart Grid. This business is comprised of seasoned experts in communications technology with decades of industry experience. Leveraging partnerships and alliances, S&C’s combined team of over 100 experts includes wireless R&D engineers, communications systems engineers, and application and field service experts.

The depth of expertise in S&C’s Communications System business, combined with S&C’s nearly 100 years of experience in developing solutions for the electric grid, will allow S&C to successfully address both the complex requirements of electric delivery as well as the very different requirements of communications systems.

"S&C’s roots are in distribution automation, which presents the most complex set of system requirements to owners of electric grid communications systems," said Ken Monro, Vice President of S&C’s Communication Systems Division. "By marrying a broad base of expertise in both distribution automation and communications technology, we at S&C are positioned to offer significant value to utilities working to integrate these and other technologies. Our customers also need to manage and keep these networks secure. S&C can support this convergence of advanced electric grid functionality and next generation communications technologies like no stand-alone communications provider can."