Illinois utility accelerated AMI rollout plan approved 4 OCTOBER 2016

In the US, the Illinois Commerce Commission approved Ameren Illinois’ revised smart grid AMI deployment plan.

In 2012, the Missouri-based power company received approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission for its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) deployment plan, which provided for, among other things, deployment of AMI to 62% of the company’s electric delivery customers by 2019.

Ameren filed a verified petition in May requesting that the ICC revise its proposal to consider changes to the AMI plan. The power company plans to accelerate the AMI deployment schedule to complete 62% of its smart meters deployment by 2018, as well as the expansion of AMI deployment to 100% of its electricity customers. [Illinois Energy Innovation Board issues grants to further smart meter literacy]

The company said that the AMI plan originally approved in Docket No. 12-0244 assumed that the company would complete the deployment of AMI to 62% of electric customers by the end of 2019, but Ameren now proposes to complete deployment of AMI to 100% of electric customers by the end of 2019.

Ameren Illinois, a unit of Ameren Corporation, launched its grid improvement initiative in 2012 after the state passed the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act, which enables the company to recover the costs of capital for infrastructure improvements and enhancements to the electric distribution system.

Under its modernization plan, Ameren Illinois said that it has installed storm-resistant utility poles, stronger power lines, and outage detection technology in communities throughout central and southern Illinois. The company also said that more than 345,000 customers have received new two-way meters that facilitate access to energy saving tools and programmes.

Smart water pilot

In related news, US water utility Illinois American Water parnered with power utility ComEd in March this year for the rollout of a smart water meter pilot. [ComEd and Illinois utility collaborate on smart water meter pilot]

American Water set out to better manage its distribution network by utilising ComEd’s smart grid network to transmit water data.

In a press statement, ComEd said the main aim of the project is to test the use of smart water meters on its network.

The development follows ComEd’s lab test of its network’s ability to connect smart water meters.

Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, Brien Sheahan, said: “To develop innovative energy policy, regulators must be forward-thinking and aware of the critical issues facing cities, and utilities must address such issues head on by delivering programs that seek to increase customer value through advancements in smart grid technology.”