San Juan, Puerto Rico --- (METERING.COM) --- February 26, 2010 - The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is to launch a smart grid broadband over powerline (BPL) communications pilot program.

PREPA is partnering with Alabama-based BPL technology provider International Broadband Electric Communications (IBEC), which will provide its smart grid BPL solutions to offer a high speed, “always on” communications pipeline over medium and low voltage power lines for the purpose of interconnecting and testing IP-based energy monitoring and administrations systems. These systems may include energy management, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), demand response, load balancing, outage management, and theft monitoring, among others.

“With an isolated electrical grid like ours, we need intelligent devices that can automatically adjust to changing conditions while allowing homeowners and businesses to utilize electricity as efficiently and economically as possible,” said Miguel A. Cordero, executive director of PREPA. “We trust that this pilot project will help speed up the deployment of cost efficient smart grid technologies.”

IBEC subsidiary IBEC Global will be responsible for the design and deployment of the BPL communications network in Puerto Rico.

IBEC is also partnering with PowerNET International to provide project management and oversight throughout the network design and deployment of the BPL communications network.

IBEC and PowerNET International also have issued a call for the participation of third party, smart grid enabling vendors utilizing IBEC’s BPL communications network for the purpose of demonstrating alternative smart grid technologies during the implementation of the pilot project.

“We believe this is a tremendous leap forward to improve energy monitoring and to test smart grid technology and devices in Puerto Rico and other territories and nations in the Caribbean,” said Scott E. Lee, CEO and president of IBEC, adding that the company looks forward to hearing from potential third party vendors in order to provide PREPA and its customers the ability to review alternative smart grid applications.

PREPA, a government-owned electric power generation, transmission and distribution utility company, is the main provider of electric power to residential, commercial and government entities in Puerto Rico.

IBEC, an Alabama based company founded in 2003, developed proprietary BPL technology that transmits radio signals over electric utility power lines. IBEC is a recognized leader in the United States in deploying and operating BPL networks in rural areas through its relationships with Electric Cooperatives.