Manitowoc Public Utilities has awarded a $3.1 million contract with Eaton Corporation of Beachwood, Ohio for an electric Automated Meter Infrastructure (AMI) system. The system will replace all electric meters in the City of Manitowoc and provide data collection points and interface software to existing utility systems.
AMI uses state-of-the-art metering and communication technology to permit secure two-way remote communication with utility meters located at businesses and residences in the city. The two way communication will be used to collect daily kilowatt-hour meter readings for billing, monitor system voltages, and provide power outage notifications. Overall, AMI will provide proactive customer service, improve system reliability, provide for power outage notification and management, and permit more efficient delivery of utility services. Long term, AMI can be used for electric distribution system automation, load management, and dynamic energy pricing.
During 2019, MPU crews installed the sixteen data collection points (gateways) on utility poles and made connections to MPU’s existing fiber optic network. Almost all of the 18,000 electric meters in the City were replaced during 2019 with the remainder to be completed in 2020. MPU is currently configuring an automatic data transfer from the AMI system to the utility billing system and a new customer portal, where customers will have on-line access to energy and billing data. Once the system is operational, customers will have access to a user portal, where they will be able to view their hourly energy consumption. This will be particularly useful for commercial and industrial customers to monitor energy use patterns, and take advantage of off-peak energy pricing. The project is expected to be fully completed by the first quarter of 2021.
A future feasibility study will be conducted to update all water meters with AMI technology, including requesting approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. Twenty water meters have currently been installed in 2019 as a pilot test to prove the manufacturer has the capabilities to convert all the water meters to AMI in the future.