Benton Public Utility District

A consortium of Swedish energy distribution system operators have partnered with Kamstrup to deploy and manage advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) as part of a pilot programme.

Led by Dala Energi, the consortium comprises Envikens Energi Elnät, Hedemora Elnät, Sandviken Energi Elnät, Smedjebacken Energi Nät and Malungs Elnät.

The results of the pilot will determine whether the energy providers should implement Kamstrup's OMNIA AMI solution at full scale. The project will include the installation of 81,000 smart electricity meters and technology to remotely read the meters.

The AMI solution will be provided on a software-as-a-service basis whereby Kamstrup will be responsible for operation, management and maintenance of the infrastructure and technologies.

“If we are able to rely on our system’s operational reliability, we can devote more time to serving our customers instead of operating the system,” according to a statement issued by the energy distribution system operators.

“This is a win-win situation where customers receive a new smart meter which not only delivers meter data on an hourly basis but also measures electricity quality and registers real-time power failures. This enables us to notify customers of power failures before they contact us.”

The consortium turned to the sharing economy business model which includes merging of services and managing processes using a single solution to reduce operational costs.

“So far, this joint venture has brought us significant benefits through cooperation, such as being able to exchange experiences, share resources and together implement effective meetings. In the long run, besides the financial benefits, we also expect to make operational savings due to reduced administration costs.

“Our focus was on finding a supplier for long-term cooperation, which would be able to deliver a proven, future-proof solution. Kamstrup is a stable company and the solution it offered best suited our needs.”

The energy distribution system operators said they chose the solution because of its adaptability and IT reliability.

The solution acquires meter data across all the meters at the same time, and then separates it during processing to ensure the six companies have access to their own consumer data only, ensuring compliance with the new General Data Protection Regulation.

Kamstrup claims the solution has been designed to provide future utility requirements such the provision of consumer energy usage data after every 15 minutes as well as enable utilities to cooperate with local district heating and water companies using the same infrastructure and technologies.

Filipe Vasconcelos, key account manager, Kamstrup, added: “Usability and IT security go hand in hand, and the supplier is responsible for ensuring that the components of the smart metering value chain actually work together, not just today, but also ten years from now. Threat levels can also change quickly, which requires rapid decision-making on the part of the supplier with respect to the smart metering value chain. With our own manufacturing plant and R&D in Denmark, we can incorporate just such synergies into the solution, from end to end.”