Austin Utilities to implement a single AMI network for electricity, gas and water

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Minnesota based Austin Utilities has selected Aclara’s RF network for its end-to-end advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) for multi-utility services.

The multi-service utility will replace a manual meter-reading system with the new AMI network, which will support 12,000 electric, 9,500 water and 11,000 gas meters.

Data collected by the AMI network will be managed and analysed via the AclaraONE software platform, providing a single repository for data from all the meters.

The ability to manage the three types of meters from multiple manufacturers was a key factor in its selection, according to a statement.

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For its electricity services, Austin Utilities will deploy Aclara’s kV2c commercial and I210 residential meters. Suppliers of the gas and water meters have not been named.

“Aclara’s AMI network will allow us to establish the infrastructure we need to efficiently and cost-effectively collect and manage data from all our electric, gas and water meters,” said project leader Tom Tylutki, electric distribution director for Austin Utilities.

“Plus, the AMI network readily supports additional applications including distribution automation, methane detection and water system monitoring, which will give us real-time insight into events on our electric, gas, and water distribution networks.”

A single network for multiple utility services has been long talked about but rarely achieved for reasons such as data privacy concerns and simply that in most cases the different utility services operate independently of each other.

Where it can be achieved it reduces the management complexities and brings savings, which ultimately should filter down to customers.

Another recent example of where this is to be achieved is in Singapore, with the state energy SP Group winning the smart water meter rollout tender and able to piggy back it on its earlier deployed electricity metering infrastructure.

Austin Utilities’ new meters will start to be installed during the summer.