Black River Electric Cooperative has begun deploying a two-way automatic meter reading (AMR) system from Hunt Technologies, Inc.
The Sumter, South Carolina-based cooperative provides electric service to nearly 30,000 residential and commercial members. According to Charlie Allen, vice president of engineering at Black River Electric, the utility chose Hunt's TS2 two-way power line carrier system because of its capabilities and ability to provide full communications coverage in rural areas.
"We like the fact that we will be getting daily data from every meter," Allen said. "This way, we'll be able to detect meter tampering, track usage and have the data necessary to answer high bill complaints."
In addition to reading meters, Allen said the Black River Electric will take advantage of Hunt's two-way communications capabilities to operate load control and remote disconnect functions.
Allen said the utility is also excited about the potential for using AMR data in operations and maintenance. With 3400 miles of line to maintain, Black River Electric will find the TS2 System's outage detection and power quality monitoring features beneficial.
Hunt's Internet browser-based Command Center™ software allows utility personal to access data from any location. Command Center's software interfaces with other popular utility software applications make integration of AMR data much easier.
Allen said the cooperative is on a three-year deployment schedule and plans to complete system installation by the end of 2007.