NorthWestern Energy selects Full Spectrum for smart grid communications

NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas to 668,300 customers in 349 cities in the western two-thirds of Montana, eastern South Dakota and central Nebraska

Palo Alto, Calif., February 27, 2012 — NorthWestern Energy has selected Full Spectrum's FullMAX private, broadband, wireless communications system for some of its smart grid communication needs.

NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas to 668,300 customers in 349 cities in the western two-thirds of Montana, eastern South Dakota and central Nebraska. NorthWestern manages about 30,500 miles of electrical transmission and distribution lines and 9,375 miles of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines and storage facilities.

NorthWestern will use the FullMAX broadband wireless system to communicate with intelligent network devices including capacitor bank controllers, reclosers, voltage regulators and voltage sensors distributed along remote transmission and distribution electrical lines.

Real time communications and control of intelligent grid devices increases electric power quality, reliability and efficiency. NorthWestern's initial FullMAX deployment will be located in Philipsburg, Montana and is part of the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project coordinated by The Battelle Memorial Institute.

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