Central Vermont Public Service announces smart grid plans


Bob Young,
President, CVPS
Rutland, VT, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — August 4, 2008 – Formally kicking off collaboration that could lead to improved electricity metering, storm recovery and efficiency technology statewide, Central Vermont Public Service and the Department of Public Service have announced the CVPS SmartPowerTM smart meter and smart grid program.

The collaboration will develop templates and standards for new meter and communications technology and will include the development, with any Vermont utility that wants to participate, of a common understanding of terms such as “smart grid,” “advanced metering infrastructure,” and “future grid.”

CVPS developed the name CVPS SmartPowerTM to define its specific effort and stay away from confusing terms that have different meanings to different audiences.

CVPS president Bob Young said that the SmartPowerTM program will develop out of the collaboration to improve the company’s metering, billing, and service in the years ahead. “This will be one of the most important technological changes and one of the largest single capital investments – estimated at $40 million – in CVPS history.”

DPS Commissioner David O’Brien said he hopes that the CVPS program would be the first step toward an even broader statewide effort that would provide both improvements in utility metering and billing and broader improvements to the transmission grid in Vermont. “We do not intend to create a one-size-fits-all system. What works for one utility may not work for another, however, we expect that CVPS’s effort will be a learning process for others.”

The initial collaboration will last into early 2009, followed by a CVPS request for vender proposals.  The hope is to have a technology selection and contract awarded for the project by this time next year, with installation beginning in the fall. That will entail new communications systems between CVPS and all 100 of its substations, followed by the installation of advanced customer meters between 2011 and 2013.

The use of AMI and the encouragement of time-based rates is one of the recommendations in the DPS’s Comprehensive Energy Plan which was released for discussion and comment in May. The Plan states that a consultant has been retained to work with Vermont utilities to analyze the costs and benefits of advanced metering technology, both for the opportunities associated with the rate designs and associated with operational and service improvements for Vermont utilities.

CVPS provides power to about 159,000 customers in 152 communities in Central Vermont.