Elster to provide smart meters for SVP Meter Connect program in Santa Clara

Source: Silicon Valley Power

Silicon Valley Power (SVP), the City of Santa Clara’s municipal electric utility, has announced the selection of Elster Solutions to provide smart meters over the next three years for the SVP Meter Connect program, starting with large business customers in 2011. 

“Elster has manufactured reliable measurement devices for over 170 years,” said John Roukema, Director of Electric Utility for SVP. “The technology may be changing for measuring and displaying electricity use, but our commitment to reliable, low-cost service remains a constant. Elster’s proven technology is a good fit for our customer base and service requirements.” 

Elster, of Raleigh, NC, has provided more than 3.5 million smart meters to utilities in North America. Called “EnergyAxis”, the meters and technology will allow SVP to read meters remotely without entering private property, pinpoint and respond to power outages, and eventually let customers monitor energy consumption to better control their electricity usage. 

“Elster’s technology has provided utilities with millions of accurate smart meters, including 650,000 in Toronto and 500,000 in the Phoenix area,” said Larry Owens, SVP Manager of Customer Services. “Testing and validating accuracy and reliability at every step of the way are critically important to both Elster and SVP.”

Owens also commented that SVP is utilizing different meters, network technology and strategy than those being utilized by PG&E’s smart meter program, which began last year in California. 

SVP plans to begin a careful, phased rollout of SVP Meter Connect, starting first in the business community. Testing will continue this year prior to the initial rollout, and throughout the three-year installation period. In 2012, SVP will begin notifying residential customers of its plans to replace mechanical electric meters with smart meters. 

“Millions of consumers around the world enjoy the trusted performance, reliability and service of Elster’s end-to-end Smart Grid solutions and we are delighted that SVP has chosen Elster to help bring the environmental and economic benefits of the Smart Grid to businesses and residents in Santa Clara,” said Mark Munday, president and chief executive officer of Elster Solutions. 

For over a year, SVP has been testing and refining security and performance of the Wi-Fi communications systems that will allow information about energy usage to flow from meters to the utility. Meter reading will be done remotely without SVP personnel entering private property, and the technology provides immediate notification to SVP of outages to facilitate rapid response. 

The city-wide Wi-Fi system that supports SVP Meter Connect will also provide residents with expanded free high-speed Internet access.

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