Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) relies on the next-generation wireless technology of Cambium Networks, a leading global provider of wireless networking solutions, to boost its grid modernization program. The goal of the program is to create an intelligent grid to enhance the reliability of the transmission and distribution network and to improve the quality of the service delivered to their customers.
JPS is a vertically integrated electric utility company and the sole distributor of electricity for the island of Jamaica. The company is engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, and it also purchases power from a number of independent power producers (IPP).
Currently, JPS serves over 680,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers through a workforce of approximately 1,300 employees and a network of field offices throughout the island. The company owns and operates three power stations and holds investments in a fourth through the joint venture partnership, South Jamaica Power Company Ltd. The JPS group operates a fifth plant owned by JAMALCO/NFE. JPS also owns nine hydroelectric plants, one wind park, 50 substations and approximately 14,000 kilometres of distribution and transmission lines.
Grid Modernization Program Technologies
JPS’ evolution is toward a fully automated utility and recognizes that a critical goal of its grid modernization must be the integration of data and communications systems which will provide for future expansion of capabilities and additional services for its customers. The JPS 2016 license identifies that these additional services shall include smart city services, such as video surveillance and other smart features. JPS continues to seek partnership within the public and private sectors on smart city solutions like emergency services, traffic management, e-parking, public Wi-Fi, digital e-signage and other environmentally friendly solutions like air pollution monitoring, waste management and water management.
JPS has been implementing new technologies over several years as a part of its grid modernization.
Some of the technologies implemented include:
- Automated switches (reclosers and sectionalizers)
- AMI meters (via access/cluster points)
- Smart streetlights
- Fault circuit indicators (FCI)
- Capacitor bank controllers
- Trip savers
- Grid sensor network/devices (IoTs)
The technologies are geographically dispersed across the island and require a ubiquitous communication network infrastructure. For efficiency and effectiveness, JPS is deploying a private broadband network that has proven to be more reliable and cost effective.
JPS is doing a phased implementation of its own Field Area Network, specifically a point-to-multipoint wireless radio network in a frequency band ranging from 3300 MHz to 3900 MHz. JPS chose Cambium Networks to implement this solution for their wide experience and scalable, flexible and innovative technologies. For the phases, the selected region(s) will consist of one or more repeater sites from which wide coverage of this area will be established. JPS will also identify the intelligent electronic devices (IED) within the coverage areas that are to be included in the phases — together with the associated access points designed for each IED.