Another milestone reached in Ontario’s smart meter program


Paul Murphy,
President and CEO,
Toronto, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — January 16, 2007 – Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has entered into a contract with IBM for the development and operation of Ontario’s Meter Data Management/Repository (MDM/R), representing another important milestone in Ontario’s program to install a smart electricity meter in 800,000 homes and small businesses by 2007 and throughout the province by 2010.

The MDM/R is a core part of the Smart Meter Initiative, providing meter data management services in order to help customers better manage their electricity costs and enhance reliability of the power system. IBM will work with the IESO and other stakeholders to finalize the design of the MDM/R and put in place a turnkey solution to support its operation. As part of the contract, IBM will operate the MDM/R for an initial period of four years.

The IESO is the Program Coordinator for Ontario’s Smart Metering Initiative activities, including the establishment of the MDM/R function and its successful integration into the end-to-end Smart Metering Infrastructure.

"The IESO was fortunate to receive a number of very credible responses to its request for proposals and undertook a multiple step evaluation process," said Paul Murphy, IESO President and CEO. "We believe in IBM Canada we have a partner with whom we can form a strong and successful project team for delivering a key aspect of the Smart Metering Initiative. This will work for the benefit of local distribution companies (LDCs), retailers and electricity customers."

When smart meters are fully deployed in Ontario, the MDM/R will be responsible for collecting hourly interval data from over 90 LDCs (local distribution companies) across the province and for validating and processing meter reads for all residential and small business consumers in Ontario. When fully operational, it will provide the province with a unique and valuable tool for energy conservation initiatives.

"We are seeing a significant increase in the number of utilities and policy makers, nationally and internationally, who are recognizing the value of and embracing smart metering," said Ralph Gardiner, energy and utilities industry executive, IBM Canada. "Working with IESO on this initiative helps to brings IBM’s vision of Intelligent Utility Network to life, where utilities have the tools to better manage electricity demand. This is a prime example of teaming to innovate, in this case for the benefit of the whole power sector in Ontario."

The IESO, responsible for managing Ontario’s bulk electricity system and operating the wholesale electricity market, has established an $85 million program management budget which includes the value of the contract, operating costs for the first four years, program management costs, interest and financing charges and project contingencies. The awarding of the contract follows the completion of a competitive request for proposals process overseen by a Fairness Commissioner. The system is expected to be ready in the summer of 2007.