Phase one of the SmartCurrents program spans more than 500 square miles and includes the installation of approximately 800,000 Itron OpenWay meters, to add to the 300,000 OpenWay meters already deployed by DTE Energy.
In addition to the meters and endpoints, the communications architecture for the SmartCurrents program includes Itron’s OpenWay Integrated Cell Router, featuring Tropos’ high-performance wireless communications technology, and Tropos’ Mesh Routers. The Integrated Cell Routers provide wireless mesh communications with smart meters, as well as cost-effective and reliable data backhaul to the utility’s core network.
Brian Moccia, DTE Energy’s Major Enterprise Projects and AMI Technology Manager, says, “We selected the Tropos mesh as we expect it to provide greater reliability, plus it has the capacity and security to support AMI backhaul, distribution automation, mobile workforce automation and other smart grid applications.”
Network management of the Itron and Tropos mesh technologies will be unified via Itron OpenWay Control based on Tropos Control technology.
Philip Mezey, Itron president and COO of Energy calls DTE Energy a valued customer. “We are pleased that they have selected OpenWay technology with Tropos Networks for their SmartCurrents program. This project further demonstrates the inherent flexibility of the OpenWay architecture to integrate a variety of communication options based on our utility customers’ needs and smart grid strategies as they continue to evolve.”
DTE Energy’s distribution automation goals include reduction of outage time, better management of distribution power flow and peak power.
Tropos president and chief executive officer Tom Ayers, adds: “We are pleased to have been selected by DTE Energy for their SmartCurrents program. The Itron and Tropos integrated solution combines market leading technologies for smart grid communications and is an example of the adaptable nature of Tropos’ GridCom architecture to support a wide range of smart grid applications and vendors. We look forward to working with DTE Energy and Itron on this significant project.”
The SmartCurrents project is a $168 million project being funded through an $84 million United States Department of Energy Smart Grid Investment Grant with matching funds from DTE Energy.