Virtual Roundtable Examines Maximizing the Value from AMI deployments

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On Thursday September 3rd, Grid Forward hosted its sixth Virtual Utility Roundtable, during which utility leaders met to share information about their AMI deployment plans and to discuss strategies for maximizing the value from these investments. This discussion built on earlier virtual utility roundtables in which another group analyzed data and examined the resiliency of the power system.

Slide reproduced with permission from Joe Tellez, CTO, Tacoma Public Utilities.

Two guest speakers initiated the conversation by presenting on their AMI strategies:

  •  Joe Tellez, Chief Technology Officer, Tacoma Public Utilities
  • Steve Boorman, Engineering Manager at Idaho Falls Power

Here are some key takeaways from the discussion:

  •  Joe Tellez outlined their grid modernization efforts in three foundational elements which include customer experience, operational excellence and resilience. Customers are engaged through portals (web/mobile) that enable two way communication. Operations excellence is achieved through advance data analytics that include machine learning and data governance, as well as power GIS. Finally, resilience is incorporated through automated distribution and enhanced management of outages. The business case for the AMI investment was built around the customer service and value.
  • Tacoma’s first meters are being installed next month with an initial pilot phase which will eventually roll out to a larger deployment of 180,000 smart power and water meters.
  • Steve Boorman outlined Idaho Falls Power AMI strategy with a focus on the technical elements of the system that all need to seamlessly integrate together. Idaho Falls Power’s fiber backbone was extremely beneficial when constructing the AMI system. They started installing fiber around 2000, with their first project to link between the new county jail and the courthouse and later to install SCADA into the power plants.
  • The conversation then continued with other utility leaders contributing their experiences with their AMI deployments with input from utilities here in the Pacific Northwest and beyond to Los Angeles, Colorado, Idaho, and even some insight into what’s happening in Tennessee and Ireland.

These invitation-only virtual discussions are one way that Grid Forward members and advisors share and collaborate on key grid modernization issues in our regional electric power industry. If you are interested in joining one, please contact Gerard.

This post’s featured image was shared with permission from Joe Tellez, CTO, Tacoma Public Utilities.

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