Northwest Iowa Power uses remote graphics to monitor power grid

October 14, 2009--Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative selected Matrox Extio F1400 Remote Graphics Units (RGU) to distance the control room workstations from their operator dispatching center. The Extio F1400 RGU separates up to four monitors and other user interface peripherals from the host computer by up to 250m (820 ft) of fiber-optic cable.

Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative (NIPCO), a generation and transmission rural electric cooperative that supplies power to members in Western Iowa, required a graphics extension technology that would address their interference problems. Although the Keyboard, Video, and Mouse (KVM) extenders were able to distance the workstations from the dispatching work area, these Cat-5 cables were subject to induced magnetic fields and interference—from a variety of sources—leading to KVM switch lock-ups and system instability. With a single non-conductive, multimode fiber-optic cable, the Extio F1400 eliminated all interference issues while offering enhanced multiple monitor graphics for control operators managing power flow. An additional benefit of Extio over the legacy KVM solutions was that there were now USB ports to support keyboard, mouse, PC audio, and other workstation devices at the operator location.

“Without the Matrox Extio remote graphics technology, NIPCO would be confronted with many challenges of operating a number of PC workstations away from the actual area where they are needed,” stated Dennis Hill, VP Telecommunications Services, Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative. “Extio is a unique, superior product that has fully filled the needs of Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative.”

About Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative
Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative was formed in 1949 by the rural electric cooperatives. The driving force behind this new organization was the need to deliver hydropower from the Missouri River Dams.

As the rural consumers' demand for electricity increased beyond the available hydropower, electric cooperatives in the eight states of the Missouri Basin formed Basin Electric Power Cooperative. This super generation and transmission cooperative provides the additional power needed to supply rural homes, farms, and other industry.

NIPCO and its member cooperatives are non-profit and member-owned. Each of the seven member cooperatives has a representative on NIPCO's board of directors. The directors set policy and govern the financial stability of the organization.

About Matrox Graphics Inc.
Matrox Graphics is a leading manufacturer of graphics solutions for professional markets. In-house design expertise, top-to-bottom manufacturing, and dedicated customer support make our solutions the premier choice in industries that require stable, high-reliability products. Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada.

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