T&D World Magazine

Columbia Power and Water Systems Selects Elster for Smart Grid Deployment

Columbia Power and Water Systems, a Columbia, Tennessee-based electricity, water and broadband utility, has selected Elster for its multi-utility Smart Grid project. CPWS will deploy Elster's EnergyAxis Smart Grid solution to create an advanced metering infrastructure system that will improve customer service, meter reading and outage management.

CPWS selected EnergyAxis from four potential smart grid vendors. Following this selection, Elster successfully completed a 60-day system acceptance test, which involved rigorous analysis of its EnergyAxis software and meters at 600 electricity and water locations. The Elster AMI deployment is the first phase of the CPWS Smart Grid initiative, scheduled to be rolled out over the next five years.

CPWS will deploy approximately 25,000 Elster smart electricity meters and 25,000 smart water meters. EnergyAxis will enable CPWS to enhance its delivery of electricity and water services by increasing meter accuracy, providing additional load data for engineering analysis, reducing water loss, improving responsiveness for restoring unplanned outages and adding customer service offerings such as demand response.

The EnergyAxis Smart Grid solution will provide bi-directional communication between the smart meters and the CPWS home office via the utility's existing wide-area network. Backhaul communications will be conducted over the CPWS broadband fiber optic network or over cellular wireless networks for more remote meter locations. The EnergyAxis solution will integrate with the existing WAN, enabling CPWS to perform remote meter readings, improve distribution automation and better manage outages.

Elster will work with supply chain partner WESCO Distribution, Inc. to deliver the smart electricity meters to CPWS.

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