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It’s time to bring operations into the smart-meter equation

Oct 31, 2023

Enhance operations with the next generation of AMI

Utility operations are tasked with grid service, reliability, and restoration. Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) devices offer a wealth of data that can be used proactively to help operations. The key is to leverage the data and device capabilities to assist operational staff identify, triage, and even determine a course of action to resolve adverse situations.

But for many utilities, there are still some challenges between business units and how information is shared. Fully utilizing data requires a shift in mindset as the industry transforms beyond its traditional business structure. Cross-collaboration and data will be the catalyst to drive change.

Managing the data flow

AMI 1.0 already delivered more data than utilities ever had before, but more advanced 2.0 meters offer something new: higher fidelity and more granular data, as well as more descriptive information on the grid status. For example, the 1.0 meters in Ontario send information at 60-minute intervals, but 2.0 units deliver readings in intervals of five to 15 minutes. Fifteen-minute intervals deliver four times more data, and at five minutes the total is 12 times.

Utilities need the infrastructure to handle the inflow of data and also decide how it will be used. Data is just noise unless it is utilized. Utilities have to first triage the information, because it is not all equally important, and route it to the correct group within the organization to perform a particular action. If the right utility teams have access to timely and descriptive data, they are able to operate in a more efficient tempo, deliver more timely results and, potentially, avoid or minimize adverse situations.

Moving data beyond IT

Data has traditionally lived in the IT department of utilities but, with greater access through cloud systems, data, and identifiable information, there is a clear need for governance and cybersecurity policies to protect it. It is more than just an IT problem – protection and management of data happens at an organization level.

Capgemini offers utilities data solutions with domain specialists who understand the utility business and how different types of information can provide value throughout the organization. Cross-functional understanding and collaboration can help create a value-driven roadmap by simply breaking through the walls between utility business domains. By sharing data originating from other business domains, there is potential to further optimize the impact of the organization and free up resources to further transform operations for its ratepayers. Additionally, various partners are able to facilitate this cross-collaboration in coordination with IT to help automate many manual or labour-intensive processes that require sharing of data between business domains. These are proven solutions that deliver real results and outcomes.

Meet the author

Mike Lang

Utility Transformation Leader, Canada
Mike leads the AMI and Utility Centre of Excellence at Capgemini for Canada, responsible for offering development, delivery, and go-to-market strategy. He believes data and smart metering are the foundational pillars for a broader utility transformation in smart grid, electrification, and energy transition.

Brian Garrison

Senior AMI Sales Leader
Brian works closely with business and technical stakeholders to craft advanced AMI solutions featuring smart grid, microgrids, data analytics, load disaggregation, transport electrification, and many other areas of the utility business. Brian has the unique ability to understand customer challenges and find innovative solutions.