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BC Hydro selects Itron as supplier of smart metering system

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
April 12th, 2011

British Columbia’s electricity system is one more major step closer to modernization Monday with the confirmation of Itron Inc. as BC Hydro’s metering system provider to supply approximately two million new electric meters over the next two years as part of its Smart Metering Program.

Itron will provide its OpenWay smart meters, run over a multi-application communication network powered by Cisco.

The associated system software and meter data management system are included in the agreement, providing a cost effective, end-to-end solution. The contract is worth approximately $270 million.

Some of the advantages of smart meters over current mechanical meters include:

• Knowledge of when a customer’s power is out and when it is has been restored;

• Automated meter reading that provides up to date consumption and billing information;

• Two-way communications between the smart meter and BC Hydro for improved efficiencies;

• Capture of voltage and power quality data – in addition to consumption information – to optimize the operation of BC Hydro’s electricity grid;

• Automated meter alarms to identify operational problems and some types of theft.

In addition to BC Hydro, several large utilities in North American are deploying Itron’s OpenWay system, including Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, CenterPoint Energy and Detroit Edison.

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