China investment in smart grid tech
Chinese smart meter manufacturer Waison has seen turnover from advanced metering infrastructure increase by 17% since 2013. The AMI division of the electricity and water meter maker brought in RMB1,677.04 million (US$270 million) up to December 2014.

Aclara AMI deal with Texas electric cooperativeUS advanced metering infrastructure supplier Aclara Technologies is closing the year with a deal for its power line communications system.

Texas-based Lamar County Electric Cooperative Association (ECA) announced this week that it has ordered the eTWACS advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system.

The cooperative will deploy the AMI over the next two years overriding its legacy system.

Commenting on the purchase, Jerry D. Williams, general manager and CEO at Lamar County ECA, said: "Aclara's advanced, reliable technology will provide fast and accurate meter reads, and automated meter reading procedures, as well as reduce the time in which problems can be discovered and alleviated.

"We have also implemented other uses, like outage assessment and restoration using the company's PROASYS software."

AMI benefits

Lamar County ECA said in a statement that eTWACS technology will increase the association's capacity to perform daily, interval and on-request meter reads to meet its data requirements.

Utilities employing eTWACS can reduce the loss of power line electricity, and send and receive bi-directional data concurrently over power lines, Aclara said in a statement.

All substation buses are read in parallel, and the protocol allows a single outbound command to retrieve data from all feeders.

Smart infrastructure

St Louis-based Aclara has enjoyed a productive year with two new solutions coming to market.

In June, the company launched an end-to-end service for water utilities wanting to deploy an AMI strategy.

With the Aclara Platinum Services, the company will design, deploy and maintain an AMI network infrastructure and related server and head-end software.

Aclara will also managed data collection units and the network communications centre.

And in November, Aclara Technologies unveiled its new data management system.

‘Intelligent Infrastructure: Data, Efficiency, Analytics and Services’ or iiDEAS is aimed at electric, water and gas utilities.

The smart infrastructure solution (SIS) provides a platform to lift distribution networks from automated metering infrastructure to a more advanced and holistic approach, the US company said in a statement.