Avista has selected Itron to modernize its electric and gas network in Washington state and lay the foundation for smart city applications. Contract negotiations are now underway. Avista provides energy services and electricity to 375,000 customers and natural gas to 335,000 customers in eastern Washington, northern Idaho, and parts of southern and eastern Oregon. Avista will deploy Itron’s OpenWay Riva IoT solution, which delivers interoperability and distributed intelligence over an Itron and Cisco network. The utility plans to use the next-generation solution to improve electric and gas operational efficiencies, enhance reliability, reduce energy losses, and enhance customer service and engagement.
Itron’s OpenWay Riva solution delivers both Adaptive Communications Technology and distributed intelligence to meters, grid devices and sensors at the edge of the network. The platform’s computing power will enable utilities like Avista to run multiple applications in edge devices and make near real-time decisions in the field, instead of solely collecting data for billing and back office analysis.
In addition to smart metering, the utility can push various applications to edge devices, including revenue assurance and theft detection; high impedance detection and other safety diagnostics; outage detection and analysis; transformer load management; demand response; and management of distributed generation at the sub-transformer level. The new solution will also enable Avista to provide more timely information to its customers so they can better manage their energy usage. Additionally, with open standards, the IoT multipurpose network can be the foundation to run smart city applications, such as smart street lighting or electric vehicle charging.
The solution’s Adaptive Communications Technology combines radio frequency, powerline carrier and Wi-Fi on the same chipset to deliver high communications performance with connectivity. The technology intelligently uses the most reliable and fastest communication path, and most efficient data rates based on its location, network operating conditions and the type of grid application or data.