ortisBC has selected Itron’s smart grid solution to support the utility’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project. The project, which still requires approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission, includes 115,000 Itron advanced meters operated over a multi-application IPv6 communication network based on Cisco’s GridBlocksTM architecture. The $21 million project is expected to be finished by the end of 2015.
In addition, FortisBC will install Itron’s meter data management and data presentment software to process and analyze meter and other utility-related data, providing a cost-effective, end-to-end solution from a single supplier.
Mark Warren, FortisBC’s director of customer service, explains, “At FortisBC, meter reading has largely been a manual process. Itron’s smart grid solution will help us build a more secure and reliable grid, enabling key programs for consumer engagement and grid efficiency. In addition, we see great value in the Itron-Cisco IPv6 architecture and its ability to adapt to future smart grid requirements.”
Itron reports that its smart grid solution “is designed to address the challenges utilities are facing with their existing electrical grids. It will allow FortisBC to implement consumer engagement programs and give utility customers greater control of their energy use.” In addition, the outage notification and theft detection features will enable FortisBC to realize operational savings and greater system efficiency.
Mark de Vere White, Itron Energy Group in North America’s senior vice president, adds: “Itron is helping build the smartest grids in the world. We are excited to help FortisBC realize the benefits of a more intelligent electrical grid, ensuring efficient and reliable service to their customers and building sustainable operations for years to come.”
FortisBC provides energy solutions for natural gas, electricity, propane, and thermal energy, serving approximately 162,000 electricity customers in the southern interior of British Columbia. For more information, visit www.fortisinc.com.