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Actility To Power LoRaWAN® Network Roll-out for Smart Grids in New Zealand with Powerco

Press Release, Paris, France, April 2021

Actility is set to deploy a large-scale LoRaWAN® network in order to improve the monitoring of New Zealand’s second largest electricity distribution network. Smart Grid sensors will be installed in order to detect in real-time all malfunctions that may occur on various sections of the grid and therefore to ensure the power network is safe, secure and resilient.

Actility has partnered with local utility company Powerco, which will connect smart sensors and manage its LoRaWAN network on its fully secured private instance of ThingPark® Enterprise IoT platform.

LoRaWAN® open standard connectivity technology is a proven leader for smart utility applications, delivering solutions that are easy to scale, optimizing operational cost and reducing utility waste. It allows utility companies to leverage its extremely long-range and low-power capabilities to cover thousands of kilometers of its electricity network at low cost, especially in remote areas which are challenging to reach, and to install LoRaWAN devices providing data in real time, while lasting for years on one battery charge.

The sensors, connected through LoRaWAN, will provide fault, performance and metering information, allowing to more easily detect and locate power outages, identify underperforming assets, and understand power demand. It also means sending field crews to remote locations for routine checks on equipment will no longer be necessary.

Serving urban and rural households, businesses and major industrial and commercial sites around the North Island of New Zealand, the Powerco grid represents 28,000 kilometres of overhead lines and underground cables, some of which are located in remote or challenging terrain.

Starting in June 2021, 200 gateways will be installed around the network over 24 months and LoRaWAN-connected sensors placed on electricity assets such as power poles, lines and transformers. Each gateway can monitor hundreds of sensors, creating a comprehensive picture of the network.

Ian Skipworth, General Manager Service Delivery and Systems Operations says the technology will improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of the network for customers.

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Photo of Ian Skipworth

“LoRaWAN will give us much more granular information about our network than we currently have. Our team will be able to see what’s happening pole-by-pole in real-time. That means we can respond quickly to what’s happening now, and plan more effectively for the future”

says Ian Skipworth, General Manager Service Delivery and Systems Operations.

“LoRaWAN gives the opportunity to utilities to create smart IoT applications that are flexible, scalable, easy to use, while simplifying integration and deployment. For Powerco, reducing operational expenses and creating new efficiencies can now be achieved without heavy investment. It will provide a basis for other innovations to come”

says Sourmack Darbouy, Regional Sales Director at Actility.

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About Powerco

Powerco is New Zealand’s second largest electricity utility and gas distribution utility with around 1.1m customers (across 446,000 connections) connected to its networks. Powerco’s electricity networks are in Western Bay of Plenty, Thames, Coromandel, Eastern and Southern Waikato, Taranaki, Whanganui, Rangitikei, Manawatu and the Wairarapa. Its gas pipeline networks are in Taranaki, Hutt Valley, Porirua, Wellington, Horowhenua, Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay.

For more information email media@powerco.co.nz or phone 06 968 4557.

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About Actility   

Actility is a world leader in Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN) industrial-grade connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things. Actility provides its ThingPark™ platform and network technology to deploy, operate and maintain public and private wireless IoT networks within a unified, scalable and versatile network infrastructure. The vast majority of nationwide LoRaWAN® network service providers (over 50) and hundreds of companies trust ThingPark™ all over the world. Through its subsidiary Abeeway, Actility also provides patented ultra-low power tracking solutions. ThingPark Market offers the largest selection of interoperable IoT gateways, devices and applications to simplify and accelerate deployment of use cases.  

Contact us here: https://www.actility.com/contact 

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What is LoRa and LoRaWAN white paper techniical overview, benfits and use cases

Learn more about the LoRaWAN technology by downloading the Actility “What is LoRaWAN” white paper