Upon conversion to the AMI system, PGE would become one of the largest deployments in the US with approximately 850,000 meters installed. The rationale for installing an advanced metering system included:
The PGE mission was to “design, construct and operate a two-way AMI that provides a communications and control platform for valued customer services, process efficiencies and the collection and use of interval data.”
PGE was on the precipice of change. Faced with growing energy requirements, a need to install a two-way communications system and the ability to collect and process this data, a new system needed to be implemented. The changes and systems needed to meet these demands were required to be fast, efficient and effective.
For PGE, deployment of advanced metering systems was considered the next step in the quickly evolving utilities sector. AMI describes the automated collection of meter data over a fixed communications network (sometimes called AMR). With more than one-third of all electric utilities in North America already having this type of system, PGE was positioning to provide demand response and direct load control programs to its customers. Considering that by 2010, experts project 40% of utility customers in the US will have “smart metering”, the conversion was also of tremendous interest to the Oregon Public Utility Commission.
Advisicon evaluation and analysis revealed two main areas that needed to be addressed to ensure deployment success.
PGE was able to reap the benefits of a well defined project management system by taking full advantage of the functionality of Microsoft technology. Implementation of these tools allowed the development of a successful AMI system to be launched. Overall, PGE was able to realize:
Deployment of the new system resulted in clear, measurable operational improvements for the organization. The enhanced reporting functionality gave opportunity for better interpretation of the data ultimately resulting in more efficient utilization of resources across the board. Importantly, the system was able to provide: li Timely information on project tasks, risks, resources and statistics allowing for enhanced visibility into the organization and more effective decision‐making li Simple data entry with easily accessible reporting functions designed to pull data accurately and without human error li More efficient resource allocation and better visibility into the organization.