JEA will begin deploying the Gridstream RF Network this month as part of a smart grid project aimed at enhancing customer service and helping consumers manage energy consumption.
Under the agreement with JEA, Landis+Gyr will install Gridstream technology to enable two-way communication with advanced meters. This technology also provides the capability to connect distribution devices and home area network equipment to the system through a single network. The initial project includes installation of 3000 FOCUS AX-SD meters with integrated ZigBee communications and service switches.
Once the network is in place, the utility can strategically offer new programs to help consumers with energy management, such as an electric prepay program, an online consumer energy portal and variable time-based pricing. The technology upgrades will also provide automatic outage and event notifications to further improve outage restoration response.
“Our smart grid initiative is focused on adding more tools for consumers so they can take an active role in managing their energy use and costs,” said Marlene Murphy-Roach, vice president of Customer Relations at JEA. “We are also expanding on our ability to utilize the data available from our network to improve service and control costs.”
The Gridstream network enhancement is part of a broader smart grid initiative for which JEA received a stimulus grant from the Department of Energy. In addition to improving its advanced metering capabilities, JEA will also enact a number of upgrades to its data management and operational software, as well as adding customer engagement tools that in addition to a web portal will include testing outbound messaging and alerts.
Landis+Gyr currently manages an advanced meter network that collects and reports daily information from JEA’s 730,000 electric and water meters. The new Gridstream infrastructure will be deployed and maintained under this managed services contract.
JEA owns and operates the largest community-owned utility in Florida and the eighth largest in the United States. The utility’s electric system currently serves more than 417,000 electric customers in Jacksonville and parts of three adjacent counties. JEA's water system serves more than 305,000 water customers and 230,000 sewer customers in Northeast Florida.