T&D World Magazine

Ontario Utilities to Deploy Sensus FlexNet

More than half of all utilities participating in the ongoing London Hydro Smart Meter Consortium Project in Ontario, Canada, comprising 1.2 million of the overall 1.8 million meters represented, will soon be using the Sensus FlexNet solution to service their customers.

"The Sensus FlexNet solution delivers the technology required to serve the diverse topographic, geographic, and demographic variables within our service territory, which ranges from dense urban to remote rural," said Wilfred Meston, manager of operations for Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro Inc. "Its two-way capability provides the demand response, hourly interval data, and dynamic pricing plans envisioned by our consortium utilities and the Ontario government. We also believe that FlexNet has the power and flexibility for future advanced Smart Grid applications that will benefit both our day-to-day operations and our customers," added Meston.

Sensus was rated as the "best AMI solution" among 16 of the participating vendors, in part because the solution provides the greatest technical merit per invested dollar. In this second phase of Ontario's Smart Meter Implementation Program, sponsored by London Hydro, the Consortium membership evaluated the technical merit, most likely life-cycle system cost, and other factors as overseen by the Ontario Government Fairness Commissioner.

Sensus was chosen as the Smart Metering AMI provider by nine of the 12 largest Ontario utilities, which represent endpoints ranging from 5000 to 325,000. Some of the utilities and/or buying consortiums that will depend on solutions from Sensus include: Niagara Erie Power Alliance, District 9, Cornerstone Hydro Electric Coalition, PowerStream, Waterloo, Kitchener, and Cambridge. Sensus and representatives from the buying consortiums and/or individual utilities will now meet to sign operating agreements to begin deployment of FlexNet throughout the region.

"The FlexNet system possesses the bandwidth that we require to support our short and long-term Smart Grid initiatives," said Gary Rains, director of network planning for London Hydro.

As part of the request for proposals process, all utilities participating in the London Hydro Phase II project assigned specific weighting factors to their individual technical requirements, supplied meter population data, and provided utility-specific cost and productivity factors. Secondly, an unbiased scoring procedure then weighted the raw data to derive a "life-cycle system cost" for each participating vendor. Finally, miscellaneous factors, such as experience and customer satisfaction, were also examined. The end result provided a compilation of all scoring factors, and determined the greatest technical merit per invested dollar, or "best value" AMI vendor.

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