Advanced meters lay groundwork for new capabilities

Great River Energy and its members continue to install technologies that will allow for more service options for customers in the future.

Advance metering infrastructure (AMI) is a key technology that can enable a multitude of grid enhancements and benefits to customers, including improved reliability, more information with which to make decisions on energy use and better interconnectivity of renewable resources.

“AMI is a foundational technology for the future grid enhancements planned by Great River Energy and its member cooperatives,” said John Aiton, Great River Energy’s leader of energy data and metering infrastructure.

Cooperatives have long depended on meters to monitor the electric system and measure the electricity being consumed at homes and businesses. Technological advancements in metering now allow the devices to do more than just measure energy, fulfilling an integral role in providing data to members and cooperatives.

“With AMI, we can clearly see whether the customer has received the signal we send out to verify things like cycled air conditioning and load controls,” said John Reinhart, Great River Energy’s demand response technology lead. “This allows our load control programs to be more effective and enables a more sophisticated demand response management system (DRMS). This better leverages our existing capabilities to shave energy consumption during peak times, which means cheaper electricity for our members and their members.”

Demand response programs, such as cycled air conditioning, decrease on-peak energy demand by strategically cycling devices on and off during control periods.