Alabama Power taps Sensus for AMR contract

Alabama Power Co. and Sensus Metering Systems are teaming to provide 45,000 residential and 5,000 commercial customers in the Birmingham, Ala., market with a full two-way fixed network meter reading system designed to increase efficiency, reduce overhead costs and enhance customer service...

Sep 1st, 2005

RALEIGH, N.C., Sept. 1, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- Alabama Power Co. and Sensus Metering Systems are teaming to provide 45,000 residential and 5,000 commercial customers in the Birmingham, Alabama market with a full two-way fixed network meter reading system designed to increase efficiency, reduce overhead costs and enhance customer service.

Working together with partner AMDS (Advanced Metering Data Systems), Sensus is under contract to deliver the meters to be installed by the end of the year. The system consists of Sensus' solid-state iCon™ meters integrated with AMDS Connect™ (FlexNet™) transceivers, the AMDS fixed network infrastructure and system software. The project represents the first significant award by a major utility for the Sensus/AMDS venture since the two companies joined forces earlier this year.

"From day one, we told vendors we wanted a full two-way system directly to the meter, with all the bells and whistles to achieve our value add economic benefits, while keeping within our budget," comments Derl Rhoades, Principal in Alabama Power Co.'s Power Delivery Metering. "Sensus and AMDS proved their technology could deliver on each of our requirements. The ability to provide a comprehensive suite of functionality with such a simple system architecture was a key factor in the decision to select FlexNet, not to mention the applications this network can provide beyond metering."

A pilot system has been installed at Alabama Power since the fall of 2004. Other technologies were evaluated including competing fixed networks, mesh and power line carrier. This will be Alabama Power's largest automated meter reading project to date.

"We are very excited Alabama Power has chosen to work with Sensus and AMDS for their AMR deployment. Alabama Power is recognized as an innovative utility with high demands for their technology. We are fortunate to have them as a partner and look forward to a long term and successful relationship," said Tom Haven, Sensus sales manager.

Because the system is a tower-based AMR network, reliance on additional infrastructure, such as numerous collection points is avoided. The system has a simple, single-tier design: from meter to tower, substantially reducing infrastructure cost. Furthermore, the AMDS service agreement handles installation, operation and maintenance of the network which releases the utility from having to allocate manpower and resources to maintain the network. The service agreement allows utility to secure a fixed ongoing operations cost and guaranteed level of performance.

Alabama Power (www.alabamapower.com) provides electricity supply and service to 1.3 million homes, businesses and industries in the southern two-thirds of Alabama. It's one of five U.S. utilities operated by Southern Company, one of the nation's largest producers of electricity.

Sensus Metering Systems (www.sensus.com) is a leading worldwide provider of water, gas, electric and heat meters, clamp and coupling products, and automatic meter reading (AMR) systems for utilities.

Advanced Metering Data Systems (www.amdswireless.com) is a metering and wireless connectivity company with headquarters in New Orleans, Louisiana. AMDS provides automatic meter reading technology and monitoring services to electric, gas and water utilities using patented technology and a dedicated, FCC-licensed fixed wireless network.

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