IBM has signed a service agreement with Consumers Energy, a Michigan electric and natural gas utility, to help plan, deploy and test an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and smart grid field pilot network.
The field pilot is expected to help Consumers Energy evaluate several AMI technologies needed for full deployment and will confirm vendor capabilities. The project plan calls for testing the AMI network's ability to support minimum smart grid functions, collect interval energy usage data for demand response analysis and capture operational metrics for full deployment planning. The project also is designed to emphasize AMI field pilot aspects and include the smart grid as a secondary objective.
Consumers Energy's AMI technology, systems and deployment pilot, which includes meter and telecommunications installations, is scheduled to begin in 2009. The plan for the pilot project includes hardware, telecommunications, operations and back-office system software solutions from numerous vendors.