T&D World Magazine

Minnesota Utility Completes Deployment of Automated Metering Infrastructure

Lake Country Power of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, has successfully deployed a full two-way automated metering infrastructure (AMI) to its entire service territory covering more than 10,000 square miles in northern Minnesota.

The Cannon AMI system by Cooper Power Systems gives Lake Country the ability to read meters on demand, improve cash flow, reduce customer complaints, decrease issue resolution time, verify outages and restoration real time, and monitor substation equipment.

"We wanted a system that could be installed in all 39 of our substations, with the capability to handle more than 60,000 meter reads and remotely monitor our substation equipment," Rick Lemonds, general manager of Lake Country Power said. "Our AMI system has already made positive service impacts, by providing the right employees with the right information when requested. This provides our members with data to support answers to their questions."

Lake Country Power has noticed time savings in solving customer issues through the ability to profile energy use and remotely read meters from the office. "In the past we would send a technician on site to check on most high bill issues," Lemonds said. "Now we handle many of these directly from the office, greatly reducing our time and expense to resolve these customer inquiries."

The AMI system successfully integrates with Lake Country Power's existing billing and outage management software allowing for the automatic generation of monthly billing statements and verification of outage events and restoration. Lake Country Power anticipates significant savings using the system to verify load management commands sent to its load control receivers.

"Often with projects of this size the functionality gets reduced as the project rolls out," Lemonds said. "But with our system the reality is living up to the vision. We now have the ability to verify load management control commands, remotely read meters, verify outages, assist with the restoration of power, and perform remote power quality monitoring at the distribution and substation levels. We had an aggressive deployment schedule and we were able to achieve the roll out on schedule. We look forward to what else our two-way network will be able to provide for in the future."

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