While the penetration of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) in the United States overall is at 48% (with smart meters making up 60.4 million of the total 124.7 million electric meters currently installed), variations are large between states.
Why are such variations in AMI levels among states important? Because they provide an indirect measure of the ability of utilities in those states to provide more value to customers. AMI supports a wide range of reliability improvements and customer engagement programs, including demand response, usage reporting, and rate optimization, and can help enable distributed generation, outage tracking and reporting, and other smart utility programs.
Grant County Public Utility District’s service territory is in Washington State, a state where, according to the most recent Energy Information Administration (EIA) Form 826 data, less than 1% of the electric meters are so-called “smart” meters, or AMI meters.
Specifically, the EIA 826 data as of January 2017 shows that Washington State reported only 20,668 AMI meters out of a total of 2,561,665 meters overall. As a result, an upcoming project with Silver Spring Networks at Grant PUD is slated to more than triple Washington state’s number of AMI meters.
Grand County PUD’s smart meter program is with Silver Spring Networks, who was recently awarded the project, which will install the AMI solution across the utility’s 2,777-square mile service area in Central Washington.
Under the smart metering program, Silver Spring’s Gen5 network platform will connect approximately 47,000 Grant PUD customers with advanced meters to help deliver operational savings, improve service reliability, and enable greater energy efficiency, the company said.
“As the backbone of power distribution in the U.S., public power needs technology that is flexible enough to meet its own set of unique challenges,” said Chuck Allen, Public Affairs Officer for Grant PUD. “As a proven end-to-end provider of standards-based networks for the smart grid value chain, Silver Spring’s technology will be integral in the success of the Grant PUD roll-out.”
“We see this program as additional momentum in a recent wave of municipal and public power communities planning to modernize their infrastructure through powerful two-way communications. By deploying a standards-based and future-proofed network, backed by Silver Spring’s professional support services, rural communities can deploy advanced meter solutions more rapidly and successfully,” said Craig Lawson, SVP – North America, Silver Spring Networks.
The EIA data for 2017 Advanced Metering Deployments is at this link.