Advanced metering infrastructure is first step in preparing for a smarter energy future
Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), an Alliant Energy, Madison, Wis., company, will begin installing advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) — the foundation for Smart Grid that delivers energy from suppliers to consumers using digital technology to save energy, reduce costs, and increase reliability — for customers in the Mauston, Wis., area, including the communities of Adams, Lyndon Station, Necedah, Camp Douglas, and New Lisbon. This will take place over the next several months.
AMI technology uses remote two-way wireless communication to retrieve detailed customer energy usage information. “AMI lays the groundwork for partnering with our customers to build a smarter energy future,” explains John Kratchmer, VP of Energy Delivery Operations for Alliant Energy. “This technology and the future opportunities it presents will empower customers by providing the insight and tools needed to manage their own energy usage and create opportunities for long-term cost savings, while also creating operational efficiencies at WPL.”
Once fully operational, AMI will provide the ability to read meters without having to visit customer property on a regular basis, reduce the number of estimated bills, and allow for more efficient response to and restoration of electric service interruptions. Since information is gathered more often, it will also allow WPL to better forecast energy needs during peak times and improve overall efficiency.
Alliant Energy has contracted with VSI Meter Services, Aston, Pa., to perform the majority of the installations. Those crews will be working in the areas listed above throughout the next several months. Electric meters will be replaced, which may cause a brief interruption in electrical service. For Alliant Energy gas customers, gas meters are being retrofitted in place with an AMI module which should not cause an interruption in gas service. Customers will be notified by mail prior to their scheduled installation.
Meters will continue to be manually read until the new AMI system has been tested and is fully operational in these areas.