SECO selected Sensus after a six-month pilot with the FlexNet AMI network and 1,200 electric meters. Based on open standards, the FlexNet system is a point-to-multipoint wireless network communicating via FCC-protected spectrum. In SECO’s evaluation, the solution offered the highest transmitting power of the technologies the co-op considered and enabled SECO to reach a widely-dispersed membership across seven noncontiguous counties.
Ben Brickhouse, SECO’s director of engineering and IT explains, “We spoke with a number of other cooperatives currently working with Sensus, and their positive feedback about the technology’s performance and their relationship with the company played an important part in our decision. Our experience with Sensus to date has reinforced the value of this investment and we are confident the smart grid program will deliver significant value to our members.”
SECO expects the smart grid initiative will help reduce fuel costs and staff time required for manual meter reads as well as reducing meter theft and tampering. SECO may eventually expand the program to include time of use rates and home area networking. Meter installation will begin in July 2011 and is estimated to be completed within five to six years.
Randolph Wheatley, vice president of marketing for Sensus observes that the smart grid program SECO is implementing “will help them improve customer service and reduce costs through operational efficiency. The relationship provides a win-win solution for electric cooperatives and their customers and continues to demonstrate how the Sensus AMI system is scalable for utilities of all sizes.”
Sensus provides technology solutions that enable intelligent use and conservation of critical energy and water resources. Headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., USA, Sensus serves customers from locations throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more information, visit www.sensus.com.