The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) has entered into a value-added reseller (VAR) agreement with Sensus. Through this partnership NRTC will offer Sensus smart grid technologies to its members including the FlexNet advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system, smart meters, distribution automation and demand response solutions.
In response to requests from co-op members for a wireless AMI solution, NRTC evaluated various technologies before partnering with Sensus. “The Sensus FlexNet system is a licensed wireless AMI technology and a wise investment for the future as it can support smart metering and smart grid applications like distribution automation with one network,” said Ed Drew, vice president, utility solutions at NRTC. “Licensed wireless provides the range needed for our electric cooperative members, reaching meters at tens of miles rather than hundreds of feet as is the case for unlicensed mesh alternatives,” added Drew.
The FlexNet system is a long-range radio AMI solution that is based on open standards and communicates via dedicated, primary-use, FCC-protected spectrum. For electric co-ops, this means that the system can reliably communicate data over long distances and varied geographic terrain with lean infrastructure requirements.
“A long-range radio approach to AMI allows us to best serve our service territory,” said Don Book, general manager of Dubois Rural Electric Cooperative in Jasper, Indiana, and the first NRTC member to select Sensus through the NRTC partnership. “We will now bring the benefits of the smart grid to our customers by automating meter reads, reducing truck rolls and receiving real-time notification of outages for faster service restoration.”
This agreement further solidifies Sensus’ commitment to the rural electric co-op market as the company continues to build partnerships across all smart grid market segments.