FortisBC Inc. has selected Itron’s smart grid solution, consisting of advanced metering, network communications and software systems, to support the utility’s AMI project. The solution will enable FortisBC, an integrated energy solutions provider serving approximately 162,000 electricity customers in the southern interior of British Columbia, to modernize its electrical grid to deliver electricity more efficiently and reliably.
The project, which still requires approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission, includes 115,000 Itron advanced meters operated over a multi-application IPv6 communication network based on Cisco’s GridBlocks architecture. In addition, FortisBC will install Itron’s meter data management and data presentment software for the processing and analysis of meter and other utility-related data, providing a cost-effective, end-to-end solution from a single supplier. The contract is worth approximately $21 million and installation is expected to be complete by the end of 2015.
“At FortisBC, meter reading has largely been a manual process. Itron’s smart grid solution will help us build a more secure and reliable grid, enabling key programs for consumer engagement and grid efficiency,” said Mark Warren, director of customer service at FortisBC. “In addition, we see great value in the Itron-Cisco IPv6 architecture and its ability to adapt to future smart grid requirements.”
The smart grid solution is designed to address the challenges utilities are facing with their existing electrical grids. It will allow FortisBC to implement consumer engagement programs and give utility customers greater control of their energy use. Customer services representatives will have access to granular meter data, enabling them to more quickly and easily resolve billing disputes and improve customer satisfaction. Moreover, with capabilities such as outage notification and theft detection, FortisBC will realize operational savings and greater system efficiency.