Jan 22, 2009

Clark Public Utilities Awards Pilot AMI Contract to Sensus

Competitive request for proposals results in selection of FlexNet smart grid solution for Washington state utility

Officials of Vancouver, Wash.-based Clark Public Utilities and Sensus Metering Systems have announced a definitive agreement for a pilot program deploying the Sensus FlexNet wireless smart grid solution. The decision comes after more than a year of rigorous AMI vendor analysis and competitive selection.

Under the agreement, Sensus will deploy its field-proven, licensed-band, two-way fixed RF solution to reach some of the most difficult urban and rural electric and water metering locations across Clark’s 627-sq-mile service territory. The agreement also permits Clark and Sensus to expand the deployment following initial pilot success.

The FlexNet system provides Clark with fixed-base communications to Sensus iCon electric smart meters, which enable on-demand reads, remote connect/disconnect services, outage/restore notification and remote firmware upgrades. In addition, Sensus smart water meters will be deployed, and will provide hourly consumption, leak detection and conservation applications.

A key attribute of the FlexNet solution that swayed Clark officials is that implementation establishes the AMI platform for additional customer experience and Smart Grid-related benefits in the future, including demand-response initiatives that foster energy conservation.

“We have carefully evaluated a broad base of AMI industry alternatives and Sensus was the unanimous choice of our cross-functional AMI project team,” said Michael Harris, Clark’s director of information services. “Our discussions with current Sensus FlexNet customers confirmed our internal analysis that Sensus clearly delivers the single technology solution we require for coverage of our demanding urban and rural territory and for automated electric and water metering, with the power and flexibility for future advanced applications.”

“FlexNet is a real-world solution for smart utilities such as Clark. It will allow them to benefit from a technologically advanced data collection program that will simultaneously reduce operation and maintenance costs while enhancing customer service,” said Bill Yeates, Sensus executive vice president for conservation solutions.