US utility approves budget to modernise grid network


According to a local publication, LP&L’s board of directors approved $120 million budget for the utility to upgrade its grid infrastructure during the 2018/2019 financial year.

Of the approved budget, $38 million will be directed towards the purchase and installation of advanced electric meters and new billing and customer information systems.

If LP&L secures a green light to deploy its grid modernisation projects from the City Council, the rollout of the smart electric meters, 16-year old customer billing and information systems is expected to stretch through to 2020.

Matt Rose, a spokesperson at LP&L, said the installation of the advanced metering system will help reduce errors associated with estimated billing and enable consumers to improve their energy efficiency through the provision of data allowing them to track their energy consumption in real-time.

The smart meters will provide LP&L with alerts in the event of power outages and help in load forecasting to improve management of grid network and simplify efforts to expand distributed energy resources.

The grid modernisation programme would help LP&L improve its customer services to more than 101,000 electric consumers.

Customers who choose to opt out of the smart meters programme will pay an opt-out monthly fee to cover expenses associated with their meters being read manually.

Management of advanced metering system

The news follows an announcement made in early April by power utility Texas-New Mexico Power (TNMP) of its partnership with Itron to manage its advanced metering system.

TNMP said it will migrate its entire advanced metering system, including meter data management and data collection, as well as analytics to be managed by Itron.

According to a release, the move will allow TNMP to keep its resources focused on core business operations.

TNMP is an electricity transmission and distribution service provider to about 245,000 homes and businesses spread across 13,000-square miles of diverse and non-contiguous service territory in Texas. Read more…


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