Committed to delivering innovative, high-tech solutions for intelligent customer operations, GE (NYSE: GE) and Cisco have successfully teamed up to provide park-wide connectivity to the first phase of First Wind’s Milford, Utah, wind farm. The GE-pioneered solution uses Cisco’s networking infrastructure to provide up-tower and down-tower wireless connectivity across all 39 GE turbines and throughout the 42 square miles of the park.
The solution deployed by First Wind supports data, video and voice communications through Internet Protocol-based networking technology. By enabling wireless internet access across the Milford wind farm, onsite technicians are able to collaborate real-time with GE’s global experts via video conferencing while at the same time sharing data and information about the operation of the turbines. The goal of this collaboration is to limit downtime, which can lead to increases in 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 utilized 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 customers 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.”