Runestone upgrades grid communications for advanced metering


In the US state of Minnesota, Runestone Electric Association (REA) has partnered with Aclara to implement an advanced metering infrastructure project.

The energy provider to 14,315 customers is replacing its aging power line carrier system with Aclara’s TWACS power line communication technology.

The development is expected to help the utility reduce read times of its over 1400-square-mile system from 27 hours to 30 minutes.

The technology will reduce line loss by almost 1% and enable additional technologies and outage identification capabilities to be integrated with grid operations and solutions.

The advanced metering infrastructure will also be integrated with customer information, outage management using the power line communication technology for connectivity.

Scott Krueger, billing/IT supervisor at Runestone Electric Association, said: “TWACS technology is the perfect solution for us because it is proven and extremely reliable in quickly reading meters distributed over wide geographic areas.

“Plus, the system provides real-time communications, allowing us to accommodate our significant populations of seasonal members with remote connect and disconnect services.”

“Runestone’s selection of power line communication as its AMI solution proves that PLC is and will continue to be an important alternative for AMI, especially for rural electric cooperatives or utilities with a mixed rural and urban population profile,” said Allan Connolly, president of Aclara and divisional vice president of Hubbell Power Systems.