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Utility takes first step in plans to bring smart grid/smart meter technology to customers by installing FlexNet communications system
PECO, an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corp., has issued a letter of intent to purchase the Sensus FlexNet communications network as its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution for a program that is expected to encompass more than 1.6 million electric customers. Sensus said PECO will leverage the solution to monitor and measure electric distribution and consumption on a single designated communications highway for all related utility applications. PECO and Sensus will now work together on project requirements and details in an effort to reach a final work agreement.
Sensus will partner with PECO to deploy its FlexNet communications system and smart meters to enable outage management, distribution automation and voltage monitoring for the company. The system will help PECO meet state regulatory requirements, deliver clear and reliable communications in a dense urban environment via FCC-licensed spectrum and support future applications. Work is underway at PECO to deploy smart meters during the next 10 years--five years earlier than required under Pennsylvania law thanks to a $200 million stimulus grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
“We are honored to be selected by PECO to support the successful deployment of their smart grid strategies,” said Peter Mainz, president and CEO of Sensus. “Our proven and tested approach to AMI will leverage one common network to support their smart grid communications needs, not only for today, but well into the future.”
Sensus said PECO will benefit from the reach and power of the Sensus communications network, offering 2 watts of power for the transmission of data, statistics and other usage information for utilities and customers. To date, more than 225 electric, gas and water utilities currently using the FlexNet communications system have deployed more than 8 million meters.