Itron, Cisco Win $270M Smart Grid Contract with BC Hydro

Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) and Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) will be the metering system providers for BC Hydro’s smart grid program.

The British Columbia utility plans to install two million new electric meters over the next two years.

Itron will provide its OpenWay® smart meters, run over a
multi-application communication network powered by Cisco. The associated
system software and meter data management system are included in the
agreement, providing a cost effective, end-to-end solution. The contract
is worth approximately $270 million.

BC Hydro says the Smart Metering Program will keep rates lower than they would have been otherwise in the province, leading to savings of about $70 million in the first three years of implementation and a net benefit to customers of over $500 million in the long term.

Some of the advantages of smart meters over current mechanical meters include:

  • Knowledge when a customer’s power is out and when it is has been restored
  • Automated meter reading that provides up to date consumption and billing information
  • Two way communications between the smart meter and BC Hydro for improved efficiencies
  • Capture of voltage and power quality data–in addition to consumption information–to optimize the operation of BC Hydro’s electricity grid
  • Automated meter alarms to identify operational problems and some types of theft

In addition to BC Hydro, several large utilities in North America are deploying Itron’s OpenWay system, including Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, CenterPoint Energy and Detroit Edison. Itron now has over 16 million OpenWay units under contract.

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