Three Ontario utilities select FlexNet AMI solution


London, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — September 11, 2009 – Thee Ontario utilities, Cambridge and North Dunfries Hydro, Inc., Kitchener Wilmot Hydro, Inc., and Waterloo North Hydro, Inc., have selected the FlexNet solution from Sensus for their AMI and smart grid programs.

The three utilities, under the government-steered London Hydro Consortium Project, represent more than 170,000 endpoints. Together they have established the CKW alliance to streamline resources to finalize the contract and to make arrangements for deployment.

A primary goal of the three utilities was cover their service areas – 300 km2 for Cambridge, 404 km2 for Kitchener, and 673 km2 for Waterloo – with a minimal infrastructure. The FlexNet solution will service the entire area with just 11 tower gateway base stations – three for Cambridge and four each for Kitchener and Waterloo.

Officials from all three utilities have reported that the arrangement has fostered a strong sense of teamwork for planning and deploying smart grid integration.

“We each have dense urban and remote rural areas to cover, and we were committed to finding a solution that worked regardless of the terrain,” said Herbert Haller, vice president, engineering and stations for Waterloo North Hydro Inc. “FlexNet was piloted and proved itself to work with a minimal need for the collectors.”

Cambridge had previous experience with the FlexNet solution through a pilot AMI project.

“During the pilot, FlexNet satisfied our need for additional data, utility efficiency, and enhanced customer service,” said Mike Knox, director, Customer Information Services and Conservation for Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro, Inc. “The extension of this agreement enables us to continue growing our customer base and establish a foundation for smart grid initiatives.”

Another FlexNet feature for CKW is the dedicated, primary use, FCC and IC licensed and protected communications network that delivers up to 2 W of transmitting power. All three community representatives also expect that the FlexNet suite of features makes future integration of gas and water metering, and measurement and distribution on a single communications network, a realistic goal for the future.

The London Hydro Consortium Project represents 1.8 million endpoints, of which 1.2 million will be serviced by the FlexNet system.