Columbia Power taps Elster for smart grid deployment

Source: Elster

Elster announced today that Columbia Power and Water Systems (CPWS), a Columbia, Tennessee based electricity, water and broadband utility, has selected Elster for its multi-utility Smart Grid project. CPWS will deploy Elster's EnergyAxis® Smart Grid solution to create an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system that will improve customer service, meter reading and outage management. 

CPWS selected EnergyAxis from four potential Smart Grid vendors. Following this selection, Elster successfully completed a 60-day system acceptance test, which involved rigorous analysis of its EnergyAxis software and meters at 600 electricity and water locations. The Elster AMI deployment is the first phase of the CPWS Smart Grid initiative, scheduled to be rolled out over the next five years. 

CPWS will deploy approximately 25,000 Elster smart electricity meters and 25,000 smart water meters. EnergyAxis will enable CPWS to enhance its delivery of electricity and water services by increasing meter accuracy, providing additional load data for engineering analysis, reducing water loss, improving responsiveness for restoring unplanned outages and adding customer service offerings such as demand response. 

"With its proven track record of successful Smart Grid deployments and the outstanding reliability and performance we saw with the EnergyAxis solution during our testing process, we believe we have found the best Smart Grid solution to bring maximum benefit to CPWS and its customers," said Jim Clark, general manager of CPWS. 

The EnergyAxis Smart Grid solution will provide bi-directional communication between the smart meters and the CPWS home office via the utility's existing wide area network (WAN). Backhaul communications will be conducted over the CPWS broadband fiber optic network or over cellular wireless networks for more remote meter locations. The EnergyAxis solution will integrate with the existing WAN, enabling CPWS to perform remote meter readings, improve distribution automation and better manage outages. 

"Every Smart Grid deployment entails a certain level of customization and the CPWS project was no different, requiring us to integrate with the utility's existing infrastructure," said Mark Munday, president and CEO of Elster Solutions. 

"The EnergyAxis Smart Grid solution can be deployed in single or multi-utility systems to help organizations like CPWS upgrade their water and electricity infrastructure capabilities, and improve customer service and natural resource conservation," added Munday. 

EnergyAxis, a field-proven Smart Grid solution with more than 3.5 million endpoints deployed with utilities across North America, enables utilities to: 

• Realize operational efficiencies;  

• Conserve environmental and economic resources by reducing the losses in electricity, gas and water grids;   

• Reduce outages, and improve outage response and repair time;  

• Improve customer service and consumer choice;  

• Implement demand response programs that can conserve resources and reduce costs, especially during periods of peak demand;  

• Provide real-time information to end consumers to allow them to better manage their energy consumption; and  

• Detect and reduce non-technical losses.

Elster will work with supply chain partner WESCO Distribution, Inc. to deliver the smart electricity meters to CPWS.

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