Anterix announced that Xcel Energy Services Inc., a subsidiary of Xcel Energy Inc. has signed an agreement providing Xcel Energy the use of Anterix’s 900 MHz spectrum throughout the company’s service territory in eight western and midwestern states. The agreement provides Xcel Energy dedicated use of the 900 MHz spectrum for 20 years, with two optional ten-year extensions. Xcel Energy plans to use the spectrum to deploy a private LTE network to support its grid modernization initiatives for the benefit of its 3.7 million electricity customers and 2.1 million natural gas customers.
“Xcel Energy is now the fourth major IOU to take that initial step toward joining the 900 MHz private broadband movement. Momentum continues to build, and as additional utilities follow suit, the opportunities for collaboration and scale will grow as well,” said Rob Schwartz, Anterix’s President & CEO. “As a member of the Utility Strategic Advisory Board, Xcel Energy will join forces with many other organizations that are committed to the idea of adoption of private broadband and the solutions it can provide industry wide.”
Xcel Energy has conducted an extensive investigation of LTE technology and Anterix’s 900 MHz spectrum. Beginning in 2019, Xcel Energy joined with Anterix, six other utilities, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in a “high impact” project that validated the performance of 900 MHz LTE in utility use cases. About two years ago, Xcel Energy began a limited deployment of the 900 MHz private LTE at two Minneapolis sites. In addition, Xcel Energy is an active member of the Utility Broadband Alliance, which “aims to assist its members in planning, designing and deploying secure, reliable and resilient private broadband networks to support America’s transforming critical infrastructure.”
As part of the agreement, Xcel Energy has also committed to an ongoing collaboration with Anterix which includes joining the Utility Strategic Advisory Board of the Anterix platform. As a member, senior executives from Xcel Energy will play a lead role in promoting and sharing experiences on its evaluation and trials of the Anterix integrated Platform. In addition, as mutually agreed upon by the parties, Xcel Energy will support technology trials with Anterix spectrum solutions and management services and will also contribute to the Anterix Active Ecosystem on key initiatives that support and address the current and future needs of utilities.
“Xcel Energy is focused on delivering reliable, affordable and sustainable energy to the states, the communities and the customers we serve. Our commitment to a clean energy future requires a modern grid capable of integrating a significant influx of distributed, renewable energy resources,” said Tim Peterson, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Xcel Energy. “Secure, robust broadband communications is a critical element of the modern grid.”
For further information about the Anterix-Xcel Energy spectrum lease, see the Xcel Energy Agreement Fact Sheet in the investor information section of Anterix’s website.