I am a big believer in the saying “Trust and Verify,” so when Elster Solutions President Mark Fromuller told me that Advanced Meter Fort Collins (AMFC) was the real deal, I got on the phone with Fort Collins Project Manager Dennis Sumner and headed over to Colorado to check out this build out personally. I even met with the technical folk in the Fort Collins lab who tested the field equipment and made sure the communications metering systems would work seamlessly as designed. This system also has links into the distribution management system, so the utility can get maximum value for its citizens from this initiative, which received funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
I have found that innovative cities tend to be in the forefront of rolling out technologies, and I am here to say that the City of Fort Collins in Colorado is in the forefront of the cities, and its AMFC initiative is but one shining example. But tackling a culture-shifting initiative of this magnitude requires teamwork.
Fort Collins Light and Power Operations Manager Steve Catanach totally believes in teamwork and in holding one another accountable. At DistribuTECH 2014, I had the opportunity to share breakfast with key personnel from Fort Collins, along with Elster (metering and head end AMI system), Siemens/eMeter (meter data management and web portal), Comverge (demand response), Excergy (program management), NextAxiom (virtual middleware), Corix (meter deployment) and Kubra (single sign-on authentication). I was blown away by the comradery and energy in the room. It’s not often that a team gels like this, but Catanach tells me that was the intent from the beginning. Only vendors that demonstrated a strong desire to collaborate were selected. Not that the bar wasn’t set high; it was set incredibly high in terms of schedules and deliverables. But the team delivered, and now the City of Fort Collins has completed more than 100,000 advanced electric and water meter installations across homes, schools and businesses, and it continues to find ways to tap into the value of its system.
I invite you to check out this first-of-a-kind Experience Station and hear from the state, city, utility and vendor executives who made Advanced Meter Fort Collins happen. In the months to come, we will add webinars and photo galleries, along with vendor-provided insights, and we will continue scouring the web to find additional coverage for you. All the information and insights related to this initiative will be available in this one place.
Please visit our Experience Station, and find out, as I did, that the City of Fort Collins believes in taking care of its customers and that requires an up-to-date intelligent network second to none.