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Portland General Electric partners with Expeto to accelerate Grid Modernization

Expeto, Inc., which enables enterprise networking over private and public mobile networks, announced a partnership with Portland General Electric (PGE) to accelerate grid modernization and renewable energy outcomes. The fully integrated energy company with operations across Oregon has chosen Expeto’s NeXtworking platform for its commercial private wireless network deployment.

PGE’s mandated decarbonization targets include an 80% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions associated with serving Oregon retail electricity consumers, compared to its baseline emissions levels by 2030 . The Expeto-enabled PGE private wireless network will support automated grid resiliency, monitoring of field conditions with smart sensors and devices, connected workers for enhanced employee safety and charging stations for electric vehicles on the public grid. This transformation will improve grid resilience and outage recovery times for the benefit of all PGE customers.

PGE selected Expeto to provide next-gen connectivity based on successful deployment in the Connected Utility Lab, which confirmed viability of PGE’s use cases over one year of extensive testing. Expeto has delivered a powerful, secure, virtual private network based on connectivity from tier-one mobile operators, providing the functionality of a private radio network without the capital and operating expenditures of a typical 10-year private network buildout that would require spectrum acquisition, RF analysis, hiring and training teams of engineers and subcontractors, and tower and radio infrastructure permitting and deployment. The result is less costs being passed to the consumer over time.

“We had a choice between dedicating a large capital outlay on a new network that would take many years to build or immediately growing our business through renewables and grid applications as part of a more cost-effective option,” said Ananth Sundaram, Senior Manager Grid Asset Engineering at PGE. “Expeto put sophisticated use cases within reach, like having a private network experience over public connectivity anywhere we need it. The company’s enterprise first approach has resulted in a strategy that gives us confidence our network connectivity is reliable and secure, freeing us to focus on accelerating the transition to a clean, reliable and equitable energy future.”

The Expeto approach provides the scalability needed to support the large number of grid nodes (e.g., DERS, EV charging stations) and devices (e.g., wildfire risk monitoring cameras, AMI) necessary to achieve carbon reduction, resilience and safety goals. The resulting network will eventually cover 4,000 square miles and connect 250,000 devices using existing cellular networks at one-tenth the cost of traditional solutions, helping PGE avoid significant capital and operating expenditures related to a self-built private LTE network over the next 20 years.

“However an enterprise deploys wireless networks for mission critical applications, they want the flexibility and agility to configure and manage it just like their existing IT network and from a multi-tenant, fully containerized platform,” said Expeto VP of product Brian Anderson. “Expeto is the only software platform that enables an enterprise to deploy and manage mobile connectivity according to mission critical business needs, offering unprecedented simplicity, agility and control, and the same seamless experience when roaming in and out of the public network. We are proud to support PGE’s leadership as they accelerate the transition to renewable energy.”

CT Bureau

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