Consumers Energy to deploy AMI technology pilot program in 2009


Consumer Energy’s AMI
pilot project will
allow the utility
to evaluate several
Jackson, MI — METERING INTERNATIONAL — 26 November 2008 – IBM has signed a service agreement with Consumers Energy, a Michigan electric and natural gas utility, to help plan, deploy and test an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and smart grid field pilot network.

The field pilot is expected to help Consumers Energy evaluate several AMI technologies needed for full deployment and will confirm vendor capabilities. The project plan calls for testing the AMI network’s ability to support minimum smart grid functions, collect interval energy usage data for demand response analysis and capture operational metrics for full deployment planning. The project also is designed to emphasize AMI field pilot aspects and include the smart grid as a secondary objective.

"We selected IBM because of its widespread experience in supporting other utilities with developing their AMI/smart grid programs and pilot deployments," said Maureen Trumble, Consumers Energy’s AMI program director. "With the expertise and support of the IBM team, we plan to develop field pilot operating procedures, testing approaches and testing scripts."

Consumers Energy’s AMI technology, systems and deployment pilot, which includes meter and telecommunications installations, is scheduled to begin in 2009. The plan for the pilot project includes hardware, telecommunications, operations and back-office system software solutions from numerous vendors.

"Pilot projects are effective methods for evaluating customer offerings and technologies for specific service territories," said Don Mak, Partner, Energy and Utilities, IBM Global Business Services. "IBM is pleased to work with Consumers Energy on this program and explore the customer service and operational benefits of AMI."