Installation of Itron OpenWay meters for Avista’s 13,000 electric and 5,000 gas customers that are included as part of the project was completed in May. The meters provide detailed energy usage data, outage detection and voltage monitoring. Additionally, Itron’s meter data management solution provides software analytics to optimize distribution system reliability and efficiency in the area.
For smart grid communications, Avosta is using Itron’s OpenWay Integrated Cell Router and OpenWay 7320 wireless broadband router, both of which incorporate Tropos’ wireless broadband technology. The network will connect smart meters and distribution automation devices. The Tropos-based GridCom wireless broadband network infrastructure can support these initial smart grid applications as well as future applications. Management for the integrated wireless broadband networks is provided by Itron OpenWay Control, which is based on Tropos Control.
Avista’s director of IT infrastructure, Jim Corder, says, “Avista is looking forward to implementation of the OpenWay-Tropos smart grid communications solution, which aims to bridge the two network technologies and reduce the number of devices we have to manage and support. We’re expecting the network will meet or exceed all of our performance requirements for the initial smart grid applications.”
The DA portion of the Project encompasses 13 distribution feeders and includes 45 reclosers, 20 capacitor banks, and 800 transformers which will utilize the Tropos GridCom wireless broadband network for communications.
Heather Cummins, Director for Avista’s Smart Grid Projects, notes, “Distribution automation applications require reliable, high-performance wireless communications, which Tropos and Itron provide. It made economical sense for us to extend the Tropos wireless broadband network and is expected to simplify management of the network.”
Tom Ayers, president and chief executive officer of Tropos, adds: “The combined solutions from Itron and Tropos provide a powerful foundation for the Pullman Smart Grid Demonstration Project and in helping deliver upon Avista’s vision for the Smart Grid.”
The Pullman Smart Grid Demonstration Project is part of the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, led by Battelle, to expand existing electric infrastructure.