Weston County AMI installation is complete
Powder River Energy technicians are working on schedule for the replacement of the cooperative’s automated meter reading (AMR) system with a more robust and feature-rich advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system.
When the project launched in 2019, a planned roll-out of new meter installations in Weston County took place at the same time as relay installations in Crook County. Meter installations in Crook County would follow similar to the pace of roll-out in Weston County.
As of January 2021, Weston County is now 100% AMI. Crook County will be the next to be 100%, as areas north of Hulett, Sundance, Pine Haven, and Moorcroft are currently between 50% and 85% complete. PRECorp VP of System Operations Rich Halloran said, “The good weather this winter has helped production through typically slow months. December and January meter exchanges both exceeded expectations.”
PRECorp releases communications to members when and where crews or technicians will be working. Please contact our offices at 1-800-442-3630 with questions about the project in your area.
The project is also installing new meters in Campbell and Johnson counties. While PRECorp personnel have conducted the meter exchanges to this point, a third-party contractor will be brought in to assist with the more high-density exchanges in areas around Gillette and Buffalo. Contractor personnel are required to have PRECorp identity on their vehicles and their person. Many areas around Wright, Rozet, and rural Campbell County range from 50% to 100% completion.
The new AMI system comes with an improved solid-state meter and a two-way communication network. The system receives readings like the older AMR system, but can also transmit signals to the cooperative when it is experiencing a problem.
The new AMI system is the current industry standard. More specifically, PRECorp is installing an integrated system of meters, communication networks, and data management systems that enable two-way communication between PRECorp and its meters.
The old AMR meters perform as intended, but they are approaching the end of their useful life. Industry suppliers no longer support these meters with parts and repairs.
The cooperative saves money in the long-term by moving away from a higher-cost, unsupported meter system. No adverse impacts to the annual operating costs of the cooperative or its rates are expected as a result of the implementation of the AMI system. The benefit is improved service to our membership.
The AMI system ties in perfectly with the personalized member phone app SmartHub. SmartHub helps you track usage, pay bills, follow outages, and receive important messaging. Call 1-800-442-3630 to sign up.
The AMI meters can also respond to requests or send information on their own, such as voltage readings, allowing the cooperative to verify, or be notified of, a member’s power outage on the PRECorp-side of the meter. With this level of information, PRECorp crews can speed up finding the location and cause of the outage. This will expedite restoration efforts.
The AMI system will be capable of capturing usage data more frequently than AMR, several times daily, and the usage data retrieved will contain individual readings that are captured every 15 to 30 minutes, providing better data to members to help diagnose high-use events or simply better understand and manage their electrical usage.
The detailed usage data will also enable the flexible pricing plans, such as Time-Of-Use plans, where members who shift usage to off-peak hours of the day can save even further.