T&D World Magazine

Georgia Co-op and Sensus Deploy 250,000 Smart Meters

Jackson Electric Membership Corp. (EMC) and Sensus have agreed to deploy nearly a quarter-million iCon smart meters and the Sensus FlexNet AMI solution for the co-op’s residential and commercial customer base.

As one of the largest cooperatives in the United States, Jackson EMC provides services to both rural and urban customers across a 10-county, 1,077 square-mile territory north and east of Atlanta.

Cooperative officials say FlexNet’s tower-based system became the AMI system of choice once it proved to require a minimal infrastructure while yet offering an advanced set of utility and consumer features. The 11 Tower Gateway Base Stations needed to run the FlexNet system for Jackson EMC will all be housed on existing, utility-owned infrastructure.

The cooperative has experienced a 54 percent growth in membership over the last 10 years, with dramatic growth in three counties – Barrow (94%), Jackson (65%) and Gwinnett (56%) – that were listed among the 100 fastest-growing counties in America for 2002-2004. This growth created the need for a system that would meet short- and long-term goals.

“The results of a propagation study done in preparation for this deployment, combined with the business case developed by Jackson officials makes a clear statement that FlexNet is a real world, practical solution for any rural co-op seeking an AMI solution,” said Bill Yeates, Executive Vice President for Conservation Solutions at Sensus.

Sensus will provide its iCon smart meters for the total deployment, which are designed to optimize operational efficiency when paired with the FlexNet system. By doing so, Jackson EMC officials lay the groundwork for future smart grid solutions, such as demand response, remote connect/disconnect, and load control.

Finally, because FlexNet operates on an exclusive and FCC-protected primary-use license spectrum, the challenging terrain and non-contiguous territory of the co-op will easily be serviced via the powerful and uninterrupted two-way data transmissions.

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