T&D World Magazine

Southern Company Deploys Itron’s Fixed Network and CENTRON Solid-State Meters

Southern Company is expanding its installation of Itron’s Fixed Network automatic meter reading (AMR) technology in selected areas of the Atlanta, Georgia, metropolitan area.

Georgia Power, one of Southern Company’s five regulated electric utilities, is currently gathering hourly reads from 15,000 CENTRON® solid-state electric meters using Itron’s Fixed Network. The utility is installing 10,000 additional meters now and will add another 10,000 over the next few months for a total of 35,000 meters under the fixed network.

Itron’s Fixed Network automates meter data collection using wireless communications to collect data from the meter and then uses public communications networks to backhaul the data to the utility. The CENTRON residential solid-state meters accurately measure and record consumption, tamper and outage information, and transmit it through the fixed network for customer billing and a wide variety of other applications.

“Southern Company is evaluating the effectiveness of advanced meter reading technology as well as the business case for its broad deployment, and the Itron Fixed Network has been an important tool in these efforts,” said Ed Fischler, Southern Company project manager for AMR.

“We’re seeing the benefits we’d expect from AMR technology—no longer needing to send meter readers into the field, elimination of data entry errors, more timely and accurate billing for customers,” he added. “But we are intent on building and verifying a broader business case for deployment of AMR or AMI technology. As we grow to better understand the value of the information we collect, we want to apply it to all segments of our operations such as forecasting, energy theft detection and improvement of our outage detection.”

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