Spanning seven counties, Comanche Electric Cooperative provides electricity for more than 9,000 customers in and around Comanche, Texas. While the vast Texas landscape serves as a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, it’s no walk in the park for the cooperative to provide dependable services to customers.

“Generating and distributing power can be a tricky business in the rural and rugged Texas terrain,” said Chad Foreman, director of IT at Comanche Electric Cooperative.

After more than a decade pioneering the use of a power line carrier (PLC) system for electric metering, Comanche decided it was time to usher in a new era of innovation to support its growing member base.

“The amount of time it previously took to get data from all our meters in the field was unsustainable and we knew that there were technologies becoming available that could speed up our process,” said Foreman.

The Comanche team searched for a network solution to deliver data over diverse terrain, improve operational efficiency and reduce the number of trucks out in the field. While their aging PLC system could no longer support member needs, it did offer the framework for a seamless transition to advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).

Comanche launched a pilot program with a Sensus AMI solution, consisting of smart meters, which ran on the point-to-multipoint Sensus FlexNet communication network. As the pilot proved successful, the cooperative moved forward with a full deployment.

“With FlexNet, we installed meters, assessed new deployments and managed it all while everything remained connected across our technology infrastructure,” said Foreman. “The system allowed us to be strategic in our approach, adding new features and functionality on a schedule that makes the most sense for our cooperative.”