SCADA Systems Pass Factory Acceptance Tests at Two North Carolina Electric Co-Ops |

SCADA Systems Pass Factory Acceptance Tests at Two North Carolina Electric Co-Ops

ATLANTA, June 1, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Advanced Control Systems (ACS) recently completed successful factory acceptance tests of new SCADA systems for Rutherford Electric Membership Corporation of Forest City, North Carolina, and Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp. of Lenoir, NC. These successful tests are significant milestones in a plan to have four NC co-op systems fully operational by mid-2006.

In the spring of 2004, Rutherford and Blue Ridge, along with two other North Carolina cooperatives, began the search for new SCADA systems to meet their evolving needs in today's energy environment. The four utilities established a team to produce a specification and obtain proposals for replacement systems. After an extensive and intense review of the proposed systems, all four chose the ACS PRISM™ SCADA system as their preferred solution.

Several considerations were significant in the decision:
• The ability to interface to legacy load management systems, which were installed in the mid-1980's.
• Successful implementation of the legacy protocol used in the previous master stations and remote terminal units.
• The ability to provide an extremely accurate load estimation, even if telemetered load data is lost.
• Ongoing customer support capabilities (ACS has been ranked first in customer service through ten years of Newton-Evans industry surveys).
• Ability to interface with other applications and systems through a MultiSpeak®-compliant interface.

The co-ops' evaluations rated ACS as superior in these critical areas. "ACS's outstanding reputation for customer support was a key to our decision to choose them as our vendor," said Colon Saunders, Manager of Operations for Rutherford EMC. Jeff Smith, ACS director of operations and services, noted, "We have a long history of paying close attention to specific customer concerns and needs. When you combine that with our flexible technology and huge protocol library, there aren't many situations where we can't find exactly the right solution."

The Rutherford and Blue Ridge systems are nearly identical in their configuration, as well as in the solutions they represent for the utilities. Redundant master stations run ACS PRISM SCADA software on a Linux operating platform. The open architecture design will use the legacy protocol (Valmet Series 5-NC, a customized protocol); ultimately, DNP 3 will replace it. The system also features a 2-Factor VPN connection to facilitate high-speed, secure remote customer support from the ACS HelpDesk. An ACS NTU-7500 series RTU (NTU) is used as a mailbox for meter data collection. The NTU also transmits appropriate data to power suppliers.

Rutherford and Blue Ridge are among the largest rural electric cooperatives in North Carolina. Established in 1937, Rutherford Electric Membership Corporation is located in Forest City, North Carolina, and serves more than 64,000 members in a ten-county area of southwest North Carolina. Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp. was founded in 1936. It serves 68,000 residential, business and commercial consumers over 2040 square miles of northwest North Carolina.

About Advanced Control Systems, Inc.
Advanced Control Systems, Inc. is a leading developer and supplier of utility information systems, including outage management, distribution management, energy management and substation automation systems. Established in 1975, the company has consistently been at the forefront of information technology deployment for electric utilities, with an impressive record of innovation, including many industry milestones. The company is based in Norcross, Georgia, with customers and agents throughout the world. Customers include IOUs such as NSTAR, OG&E, San Diego Gas & Electric and United Illuminating as well as publicly-owned utilities, market operators and cooperatives across the United States.
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