SDN Manages the Electric Grid, Too


The California Independent System Operator announced it is using Dispersive Technologies for software defined networking (SDN) to control the flow of electricity on its power grid.

The non-profit California ISO manages the flow of electricity across the high-voltage, long-distance power lines that make up 80 percent of California’s (and a small part of Nevada’s) power grid. The power comes from electric utilities, such as Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric.

But increasingly, power also comes onto the grid from renewable resources such as wind and solar. The California legislature has mandated that by 2020, 30 percent of electricity in the state must come from renewables. Often this distributed generation comes from single-family homes that install solar panels.

Dispersive Technologies’ network virtualization software provides an overlay over different types of communication connections to manage the energy. “Effectively, we’re a distributed switch across the Internet,” says Dispersive’s CEO Robert Twitchell. “Cal-ISO uses MPLS plus a VPN to control the grid. We are now a second company to be approved for the grid.”

Read more at SDxCentral.