Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative (MVEC) will soon begin using Great River Energy’s trunked mobile radio (TMR) system. This is the two-way radio system Great River Energy’s field technicians use to communicate with each other and system operations from the field. MVEC is the 19th member-owner cooperative to join the system.
Chris Leleux, director of infrastructure services at Great River Energy, said one reason TMR is so valuable is it supports reliability by helping crews communicate during or following a major weather event.
“When bad weather knocks out traditional communications channels like cellphones, our field crews are still able to communicate with system operators, other field crew members and member cooperatives that are on the same system,” Leleux said. “By sharing the same system, our members are also able to communicate with Great River Energy system operations and each other as they work to restore power.”
MVEC’s IT manager Jeff Hanson said, “Our cooperative will benefit from the advanced features and redundancy built into the network. We look forward to interoperability with Great River Energy and other cooperatives and to being able to use the mobile platform to make radio calls from iPhones.”
Hanson said this move supports the grid modernization initiative.
“We are leveraging Great River Energy economies of scale to serve employees and members with advanced communication capabilities that support operations and maintenance efforts,” he said.
Great River Energy encourages member-owners interested in joining the TMR network to do so as telecommunications is a pillar of grid modernization technology.
“TMR is a great example of the tools Great River Energy uses that can also be used by our members,” Leleux said.