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AMM deployment made easy with service

Finnish utility Vaasan Sähköverkko Oy chose Landis+Gyr’s Advanced Metering Management (AMM) solution to automatically read, control and manage all 62,000 of its customer metering points. The project was carried out as a turnkey delivery, which helped save the utility’s valuable resources and ensured a professional deployment process. The project is now complete and operation of the solution has been handed over to Vaasan Sähköverkko.

Course of Action

Prior to the AMM investment decision Vaasan Sähköverkko carried out an in-depth analysis of the advantages of advanced metering management and tested hardware and systems of several suppliers. The utility chose Landis+Gyr’s Gridstream AMM solution as it was best able to meet the utility’s technological and economical requirements.

The utility chose to install the Gridstream AMM solution as a turnkey service in order to manage the challenges of a large scale deployment process. Landis+Gyr was responsible for project management, installation of meters and the AMM system, system integration, and acceptance tests for the total number of metering points. Field device installation was carried out by a partner of Landis+Gyr Oy. Turnkey service also includes testing services and training for the utility’s personnel. By choosing a turnkey service Vaasan Sähköverkko was able to utilise the experience and knowledge Landis+Gyr has acquired in other large scale AMM deployment projects.

The AMM implementation delivers several benefits to Vaasan Sähköverkko. It allows the utility to improve customer satisfaction as billing based on actual
consumption makes it more clear and transparent reducing the margin for errors. Customers can benefit from energy saving actions immediately. The AMM
system also enables Vaasan Sähköverkko to offer tools to consumers to monitor their personal energy consumption. Thanks to real time consumption information Vaasan Sähköverkko can streamline its operations and optimise network management. This accelerates cash flow and helps the utility to improve
cost-efficiency. A third party to benefit from the AMM implementation is the environment: a billing based on actual consumption gives insentive to efficient use and saving of energy.

Deployment of full scale AMM will enable the Vaasan Sähkö Group to achieve its targeted operational efficiency and gain competitive advantage within the
industry in general.

Large scale deployment takes time, people and skills

The pilot project with Vaasan Sähköverkko began in spring 2008 and proceeded with mass installations later in the autumn. The deployment phase reached
more than 4000 meters per month and the last meters were installed at the beginning of January 2010.

Altogether the project required the manpower of dozens of people from Landis+Gyr and its partner companies as well as partial input from people from  Vaasan Sähköverkko. The project proceeded as scheduled thanks to the thorough planning of different deployment stages and effective project development monitoring. The usage of automated deployment tools gave the utility the opportunity to utilise the advantages of AMM early on as it allowed simultaneous installation of devices and collection of readings from the meters which were already installed. This demanded both technical performance from the system and skilled operations management from the project team. During the installation process in Vaasa the work order data passed through three systems from three different parties highlighting the importance of data management planning and planning the integration between different systems.

An important part of the turnkey deployment plan is the logistics planning. It includes the planning and control of forecasting processes, deliveries and warehousing during installation. Thorough planning of the logistics strategy helps to ensure the installation project is performed at low cost but with high quality. In large scale deployment projects the field installation requires the most human resources. Efficient project organization, which during peak time consisted of 40 people from Landis+Gyr, Vaasan Sähköverkko and partners, ensured a smooth deployment process.

Finalizing the project

The strong requirement for metering data availability consequently sets high system performance requirements. An efficient AMM system and professional
deployment process ensures these requirements are met and that the metering data is available and transferred from the meters to the AMM system according to a predetermined schedule. By utilizing the experience and professional skills of the AMM supplier, Vaasan Sähköverkko will receive a fully functional AMM solution, which it has now started to operate. After the handover Landis+Gyr offers the utility full technical support and customer service.

Landis+Gyr offering

The solution included Landis+Gyr’s Gridstream AIM system, 62,000 smart meters, CT meters, communication devices and the turn key deployment service. Installations were done using Landis+Gyr’s Site Manager Application, which enables the data entry directly into the system while installation and service
work is being performed on site. Part of the solution also includes AIM Dashboard, a Web-based application which offers quick and easy online access to device information. The utility’s customer service personnel utilise the application for searching, viewing and controlling consumer metering and other information. Communication between the meters and the system is carried out with a combination of GPRS and PLC technologies. Integration to the utility’s customer information system and energy data management system is done using AIMIA integration application. AIMIA enables seamless and reliable data flow between various systems.

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