When Washington state’s Mason County Public Utility District 3 decided to upgrade their decades-old utility infrastructure to leverage modern grid technologies, staff knew this required two major elements: the installation of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure solution and the implementation of a robust and fully integrated enterprise-wide software solution to not just instantaneously manage available AMI data, but to also streamline their operations. PUD 3 is one of 28 not-for-profit public utility districts formed in the Evergreen State since the 1930s to provide power to mostly rural communities. PUD 3 started off small –– in 1939 it had only eight customers –– but it has grown exponentially over the past 77 years, and now serves about 33,000 customers across a 600-square-mile area in the southeast corner of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. For PUD 3, an integrated approach to its grid modernization project made sense, but they needed a partner who could help them successfully execute their plans. They found that partner in National Information Solutions Cooperative, with its suite of fully integrated product solutions and services. “We started looking at the need for grid modernization a few years ago,” said PUD 3’s General Manager, Annette Creekpaum. An important element, she said, was the installation of advanced meters to allow two-way communication between the utility and its customers. After an extensive review and discussions with their counterparts at other utilities, PUD 3 management decided to use their own staff to install advanced meters across the utility’s service area, and turn to a single vendor –– NISC –– to provide a complete smart-grid software solution package. Several factors led to the decision, said Creekpaum. Most important, NISC provided PUD 3 with the integration for complete infrastructure and systems management [...]
Wake Electric Membership Corporation, Wake Forest, N.C., is utilizing an NISC solution that has both the co-op and its members excited: Prepaid Metering provides members of Wake EMC the ability to monitor, manage and pay for their electricity in advance, which helps them better-manage their account from month to month.