Michigan utility selects OATI for smart meter data acquisition


In the US state of Michigan, Presque Isle Electric & Gas (PIE&G), an energy provider to 12,400 natural gas and 33,650 electric customers, has selected OATI as a partner for its smart meter programme.

OATI will implement a full rollout of a LoRa-based network infrastructure to improve grid management and customer services.

The infrastructure comprises OATI’s webSmartEnergy AMIoT advanced metering head-end system for collecting electric and gas meter readings from 46,000 meters across the utility’s 2,300 square mile service territory.

The IoT-based AMI solution utilises a LoRa-based network for the communication backhaul, encompassing a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) open protocol that provides bidirectional communications to the meters, and other devices, on the IoT network.

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The utility will be able to use the network for other applications such as distribution automation, smart city, smart agriculture, asset tracking, load management, and other sensing and control devices on the same network.

OATI will also provide propagation services, in order to identify where low-cost LoRa gateways, which communicate with meters and other field assets in a ‘star of stars’ configuration, should be placed for maximum read efficiency.

PIE&G will be able to read their existing gas meters enabled with ERT modules through the LoRA network, eliminating the need to replace gas meter hardware, and reducing overall project cost.

The head end solution will be integrated to the customer’s Customer Care & Billing, and other solutions to communicate with and control the LoRa gateways, meters, and modules.

webSmartEnergy AMIoT service will be provided in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, hosted within the OATI Private Cloud.

PIE&G users will be able to access the webSmartEnergy AMIoT Head-End through a web-based User Interface.

Tom Sobeck, the CEO of PIE&G, said the utility “is eager to bring our members the increased efficiencies that OATI’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure will provide, improving safety, reliability and cost-effectiveness.”

PIE&G is a not-for-profit, electric, and natural gas distribution utility that provides energy services to consumers in nine counties in Northeast Michigan.