North Carolina Town Selects Sensus to Implement Smart Grid Technology
Network will help town save money and improve efficiency
The town of Cary, N.C., has selected Sensus as the technology provider for Aquastar, a program utilizing smart grid technologies for water management including advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) two-way communications and smart metering.
Cary is the first municipality in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park region to initiate widespread deployment of a fixed-base wireless meter reading system, a project that is estimated to have a benefit of $27.5 million over seventeen years.
Beginning in January, Cary will deploy nearly 60,000 smart meter endpoints communicating via the Sensus FlexNet AMI network, including commercial and industrial meters and residential meters from Sensus. The program will help Cary boost operational efficiency by automating water meter reads. In addition, the system will enable Cary to quickly detect and stop leaks, reduce carbon emissions by taking meter readers off of the road and provide customers with information on water usage to promote conservation.
“Cary is progressive in addressing challenges like water conservation that serve the best interests of our customers,” said Karen Mills, finance director for Cary. “While we chose Sensus as a partner because we believe their technology best meets our needs, we also appreciated the fact that Sensus is a neighbor with a local, dedicated presence.”
Cary also manages water services for Morrisville, N.C., home to Sensus’ engineering operations. Meter readings for this Sensus location will be read using its own technology. The Sensus FlexNet system gives utility customers a critical infrastructure-class communications network that adheres to open standards and operates over a dedicated, primary-use Federal Communications Commission-licensed spectrum.
“Water conservation is a topic of increasing global concern, and Sensus is committed to delivering proactive solutions for water management,” said Mike Tracy, vice president of North American water for Sensus. “The town of Cary continues to demonstrate leadership in water conservation as they advance an intelligent grid for water with this program.”
Cary, a community of approximately 140,000, also will provide a web-based reporting portal, to be introduced in later phases of the program, where customers can track their daily water usage and learn tips for water conservation. “We’ve been watching the industry and peer utilities closely, so we feel confident in the technology we selected,” said Mills. “We conducted the research and analysis and found the solution that best fits our needs.”