Electric smart meters are utilized in many utilities across America, but fewer utilities have applied smart meter technology to water and natural gas along with electric under one communications technology. Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) [NYSE: SAI] was recently awarded a contract by the City of Kings Mountain, N.C. to deliver smart grid infrastructure solutions for electric, water, and gas for their town. SAIC and Kings Mountain will implement SAIC’s Smart Grid as a Service (SGS) on the 1,200 meter smart grid pilot project.
“We are the first municipal utility in the Carolinas to utilize smart meter technology on gas, electric and water meters,” said Kings Mountain Mayor, Rick Murphrey. “Smart meter technology will help us continue to maintain some of the lowest utility rates in the Carolinas.”
SAIC’s cloud-based SGS provides a comprehensive and affordable one-stop resource for utilities. The integrated hardware and software solution provides advanced metering infrastructure, outage alerts, and remote connection capabilities. SGS provides a comprehensive end-to-end managed services solution to optimize and manage Kings Mountain’s smart grid infrastructure.
The SGS platform also provides two portals that enable the utility to operate the system and consumers to monitor and manage their consumption. “The portal technology will now give our customers insight into their energy costs so they can have more effective conversations with our customer service representatives about their bills,” said Holly Black, director of codes and engineering standards at Kings Mountain.
“Meter installation began in mid-November and most of the electric and gas meters were installed before Christmas,” declared Nick Hendricks, director of Kings Mountain Energy Services. “We can now disconnect meters remotely, freeing up field crews to work on system improvements.”
Kings Mountain Information Technology Director Matt Dull added, “A cloud-based service is the only way a utility of Kings Mountain’s size could obtain smart meter technology. We just don’t have the resources to manage these types of computer systems in-house.” Kings Mountain utility employees access the SAIC-hosted servers through a secure network so that outage information, consumption data, system maps, and a data warehouse are easily manageable.
“SAIC’s Smart Grid as a Service is making it possible for Kings Mountain to derive the benefits of the smart grid according to their schedule and budget,” said Mark Fronmuller, SAIC vice president. “By delivering an integrated hardware and software solution, we are economically modernizing their utility infrastructure without raising utility rates – a solution that is right for today and years down the line.”
Kings Mountain will evaluate the 1,200 meter pilot for several months before deploying smart meter technology across the 15,000 meter service area. Marilyn Sellers, city manager, stated she is very excited that SGS always puts customer service as a top priority. “On behalf of myself and the City Council, we are looking forward to the future and what SGS can offer our citizens. If the outcome of the pilot program meets all criteria, we will bring Kings Mountain to the next level of service.”