GE and Cisco have teamed up to provide park-wide connectivity to the first phase of First Wind’s Milford, Utah, wind farm. The GE solution uses Cisco’s networking infrastructure to provide up-tower and down-tower wireless connectivity across all 39 GE turbines and throughout the 42 mi2 of the park.
The devices deployed by First Wind support data, video, and voice communications through Internet Protocol-based networking technology. Wireless internet access across the Milford wind farm lets onsite technicians collaborate real-time with GE’s global experts by video conferencing, and sharing turbine information and data. The goal of the collaboration is to limit downtime, and thereby increase production.
“We have elected to test this ground-breaking technology at our Milford wind farm with the goal of being on the cutting edge of the latest technologies available to better operate wind farms,” Michael Witzing, senior vice president of operations for First Wind. “By using Cisco’s state-of-the-art technology to connect our turbines to GE’s experts on the ground and around the globe, we already have yielded benefits.”
“The wireless technology used in Milford is one example of how networking technology is helping First Wind meet their operational and business goals. With an integrated network—and the innovations built to work with it by companies like GE and Cisco—we are hopeful that First Wind can better maximize their investments and manage their assets,” said Laura Ipsen, senior vice president of Cisco’s Connected Energy Group.
Diarmaid Mulholland, general manager of GE’s wind services business, said, “The First Wind launch in Milford is one of the many ways in which we are leading the industry in developing solutions for clients seeking to increase the production of their wind farms. With continued testing and the success at Milford, GE is confident that up-tower connectivity will provide operations and maintenance advantages for all GE wind farms.