US energy provider to 2.9 million customers Entergy has expanded its smart grid partnership with Itron.
The two signed a new contract for the development of a communications network to support 33,000 distribution automation endpoints.
Itron will expand its existing Itron Gen5 network, which Entergy deployed for smart meter data telemetry under an advanced metering infrastructure initiative.
The network, capable of providing connectivity for smart city and smart utility applications, has enabled two-way communication between the utility and consumer smart meters for real-time access to usage data.
By adding distribution automation to its operations, Entergy will be able to re-route power around problems to minimise the impact on customers, improve system reliability, improve power quality, and provide pro-active customer service.
In overall, the capability will help reduce operational costs, improve consumer energy efficiency as well as improve the safety and life of grid assets.
In addition, it enables accurate routing of field crews to fault locations, potentially reducing restoration time.