People who live in Southern and Central Maine enjoy vast forests, lakes and dramatic mountain vistas that were shaped by glaciers thousands of years. While the landscape is a source of beauty, it nonetheless presents a significant challenge to utility companies determined to bring 21st Century technologies to their customers.
Central Maine Power, a subsidiary of global energy company AVANGRID, decided to transform the power grid they operate throughout Central Maine with an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and distribution automation (DA) system. The challenge not only included creating a technology platform that provides customers with electricity interval usage information, but also coping with network deployment in a topography that makes line of site for radio difficult.
Tilson was brought in to lead the effort, which meant deploying a $200M wireless network connecting 620,000 meters, across 11,000 square miles of rugged terrain to Central Maine Power’s residential, commercial and industrial customers.
Tilson provided project management, site acquisition, RF engineering, construction supervision, field engineering, NOC design, database administration, and report writing. Once the network was live, Tilson business analysts and software developers wrote green button, time-of-use comparison and net metering applications that enable customers to become more active participants in the company’s Energy Manager program.
Later Tilson helped Central Maine Power leverage the AMI network to accelerate their deployment of distribution automation systems to control reclosers in substations, greatly enhancing grid reliability in Maine’s harsh winters.
It’s a win-win solution for AVANGRID and rate payers alike. The visibility into the network reduces operations and maintenance costs, and cuts service restoration times by enabling faster, more precise location of faults and power outages, and provides a foundation for future rate and efficiency innovation.
AVANGRID is a diversified energy and utility company with electric and natural gas operations serving 3.1 million customers in New York and New England.