T&D World Magazine

Minnesota Utility Selects Communications Network for AMI

The Hutchinson Utility Commission in Michigan has selected a communications network as its advanced metering infrastructure solution to secure accurate and timely communications with its electric meters.

Sensus will enable more than 10,000 AMI endpoints for electric and gas meters by 2012. Hutchinson is leveraging advanced metering technology to improve operational efficiency, support energy and resource conservation initiatives, and provide enhanced customer service to the residents and businesses of Hutchinson, Minnesota.

Hutchinson, which partnered with Groebner & Associates and HD Supply in the AMI and smart metering selection process, will use FlexNet across its near eight square-mile service area to improve record-keeping accuracy and theft detection and take advantage of current smart grid development initiatives. In addition to the FlexNet system, Sensus will provide Hutchinson with more than seven thousand iCon electric meters that will enable remote readings.

The FlexNet AMI solution gives Hutchinson a dedicated communications highway where it can partition specific lanes to accommodate new features and applications in the future. Hutchinson plans to implement electric and natural gas load studies to ensure that the systems are correctly sized to maximize efficiency. It will also use FlexNet to improve system reporting on voltage and outage detection. Hutchinson customers may benefit from future projects such as demand management, smart thermostats and in-home displays.

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