Salt River Project Wins EPRI Award for Mimomax Field Area Network


Mimomax customer, Salt River Project (SRP), has been awarded a 2019 Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Technology Transfer Awards for the Field Area Network (FAN) SRP is deploying as part of its Grid Modernization strategy.

The Technology Transfer Award from EPRI focuses on technology projects carried out by electric utilities where the project has moved from a high-level, proof-of-concept phase into a full-scale deployment phase.  The award comes five years after SRP participated in EPRI’s Field Area Network demonstration project.  This project researched requirements, technology platforms and spectrum opportunities and resulted in a proposal for SRP to implement a FAN using licensed spectrum.


Proactive Approach

With the backing of EPRI’s research team, SRP became the first utility in the United States to procure licensing for the 700MHz A-block.  “This proactive approach means that SRP will be one of the first utilities with a ubiquitous, private, point-to-multipoint wireless network deployed across our entire service territory,” says Brian Zimmerman, one of the winners of the award and Project Manager for the Field Area Network at SRP.


EPRI Collaboration

The team at EPRI received close to 100 nominations and went through an arduous process to narrow the nominations down to the 12 who were awarded.  Tim Godfrey, ICT and Telecommunications Program Manager at EPRI, says that the FAN project is a perfect example of EPRI’s collaborative research model in action.  “EPRI’s research results were able to help SRP understand all of the spectrum options available at that time.  Once spectrum had been selected, EPRI was also able to assist SRP with the evaluation of equipment manufacturers to further its goal of development for public benefit,” says Godfrey.


Innovative Technology & Design

Offering SRP the ability to support capable, reliable and secure telecommunications across its electric and water grid assets, the multi-tier FAN uses advanced communication technology and innovative network design from Mimomax.  As one of the foundation blocks of SRP’s grid modernization strategy, the FAN will facilitate advanced automation for the integration of renewables, enable new customer programs and help to ensure reliable electric service into the future.

“It is a tremendous honor to receive this award on behalf of the FAN Project team and SRP,” says Zimmerman. “To get the FAN through to the deployment phase has been a full team effort, involving hundreds of resources across multiple areas of the business along the way.  Our team was also fortunate to have the vision and support of the leadership team at SRP to enable us to accomplish our goals on this project.”

Key contributors to this project at SRP included Jeff Neuenfeldt, Brian Zimmerman, John McMurdy, Michael Carbary, Tim Boughton, Andy Hernandez, Omer Guvener, Eric Quick and Don Alvarado.