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Vertel and Vocus draft telco infrastructure for wind farm

Vertel and Vocus draft telco infrastructure for wind farm

Brought on to build a telecommunications network based on microwave technology.

Cherry Tree Wind Farm, located near Seymour, Victoria.

Cherry Tree Wind Farm, located near Seymour, Victoria.

Credit: Iberdrola Australia

Australian carrier Vertel has worked with Vocus to provide green energy company Iberdrola Australia’s Cherry Tree Wind Farm with telecommunications network infrastructure. 

The pair were brought on to build a telecommunication network based on microwave technology for the Victoria-based wind farm in order to provide infrastructure with a “fibre-like” performance.

Vocus had an existing relationship with Iberdrola Australia, according to Vocus Victoria and Tasmania state manager David Moyle, with the telco recommending Vertel be brought onboard to help address the wind farm's limited and complex infrastructure options.

Specifically, the two companies were commissioned to provide layer 2 (Ethernet) data connectivity to support Iberdrola's voice and data applications, with Vertel brought on to provide access with licensed wireless technology.

The project was delivered and handed over ahead of schedule between March and April in 2020. In addition to the microwave service, Vertel also enabled the microwave tower to be powered by the farm’s wind turbine, as well as a standalone power source containing batteries and solar panels. 

“Originally designed for backup purposes, this [the power source] actually got tested before the wind turbines were even completed, powering the network while the turbines were finished,” said Miklos Peter, infrastructure architect at Iberdrola Australia. 

“Once the wind farm was energised, the network was then switched over to wind power. We are very pleased with the performance of the solution.” 

Peter added that powering the network by the very energy the farm generates sets out to achieve the objective of the company. 

“The fact that Iberdrola Australia can run the network in a sustainable way by powering it through the wind farm aligns perfectly to the company’s sustainability goals," he said. “In addition, knowing that the network will always have power at the site because of the clever design providing failover gives Iberdrola Australia peace of mind.  

“Iberdrola Australia would definitely consider partnering with Vertel and Vocus for future projects and advises other organisations with limited fibre or NBN services to do the same.” 

Tony Hudson, commercial director at Vertel, said the carrier was chosen due to its experience with regional and remote areas, in addition to its experience with similar network installations in Australia. 

“Vertel understands the complexities of working in areas that have limited telecommunications infrastructure and continues to innovate and look for solutions that ensure services are delivered in these areas no matter what,” he said. 

“This project complements the extensive range of similar wind farm telecommunications projects that have previously been completed by Vertel.” 

This is the latest example of Vertel joining other companies on network upgrades. In July 2020, the carrier partnered with analytics firm Purple to upgrade the network of BIG4 Easts Beach Holiday Park in Kiama

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