T&D World Magazine

City of Naperville Selects AMI, Architecture for Smart Grid Project

The City of Naperville, Illinois, has selected Tropos and Elster solutions as part of the Naperville Smart Grid Initiative (NSGI).

Key goals of the NSGI are to help modernize the electric grid, to improve operational efficiencies and power reliability and to empower Naperville electric customers with more information and options in choosing how they use electricity.

Elster's EnergyAxis smart grid solution and smart meters will provide advanced metering infrastructure capabilities. Tropos' GridCom architecture will provide the private wireless IP communications network across the distribution area, initially supporting backhaul of data collected by Elster's EnergyAxis system. Naperville also will use combined solutions from Schneider and Calico Energy Services to provide load control management services. Utility Partners of America was selected as the installation contractor.

Part of the NSGI includes providing customers with tools to monitor and reduce their energy usage if they choose. Customers will have the option to remain with a flat rate billing structure or one based on time-of-use pricing.

From the utility side, the initiative will provide increased reliability and efficiencies, decrease line loss and reduce wasted energy. The NSGI also will prepare the utility's infrastructure for future energy efficiency programs, including support for electric vehicles and integration of renewable energy sources.

During the first half of 2011, the City of Naperville will conduct two pilots to test the technology and processes to ensure successful implementation of the full program. Beginning in the 4th quarter of 2011, the mass deployment of more than 57,000 smart meters is scheduled to begin. The entire project is targeted for completion by September 2012.

Elster's EnergyAxis Smart Grid communications solution and Smart Meters will initially be installed on Naperville's electricity network and will be tested for future potential water and gas deployments. Tropos' GridCom architecture will provide a reliable and secure communications foundation and comprehensive wireless network management, which the utility will leverage for multiple applications beyond AMI backhaul, including distribution automation, substation automation and many others.

The City of Naperville was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy matching-funds grant through the Smart Grid Investment Grant program, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. West Monroe Partners is providing consulting and integration services in connection with the deployment.

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