Tait radio transition for Alliant Energy

By Critical Comms Staff
Monday, 23 October, 2017

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Alliant Energy has transitioned to a Tait Communications digital mobile radio.

The DMR Tier 3 system will cover a 54,000-square-mile service area in Wisconsin and Iowa.

“We had three different legacy radio systems covering various parts of our territory. Our primary requirements with an upgrade were safety, for both our workers and our customers, and the efficient dispatch of work,” said Ron Graber, director of operational resources at Alliant Energy.

“We wanted a system that, from the point of view of coverage and usability, was as good, or better, than what we had.”

Alliant Energy employs 4000 staff members and supplies nearly one million electric and more than 400,000 natural gas customers. The organisation has a strategic focus on optimisation — providing reliable service to customers through continued modernisation of the power grid and other crucial infrastructure.

To transition to the Tait system, Alliant Energy replaced approximately 1300 legacy radios and the radio equipment at 122 tower sites, as well as integrating numerous dispatch and operations centres across the territory.

“The analog talkaround feature (allowing simplex truck-to-truck radiocommunication) is very helpful, especially if we move resources outside our area,” said Graber.

This occurred during September 2017, when approximately 200 Alliant personnel from Iowa and Wisconsin — line workers, safety staff, mechanics and support staff — spent two weeks in Florida contributing to Hurricane Irma recovery, part of a nationwide support effort by utility companies.

“The radios allowed all those volunteers to remain in touch with each other, coordinate and offer their support,” said Graber.

Image courtesy of Tait Communications.

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