Response from Manitoba Hydro regarding Smart Meters -2011
Manitoba Hydro has been exploring the feasibility and justification for implementing Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) or smart meters.
In 2006, Manitoba Hydro initiated a pilot project to verify the benefits, costs, and functionality of electric and natural gas smart meters in Manitoba Hydro’s business environment. Under the pilot, a wireless communication system was tested in Winnipeg and a powerline carrier communication system was tested in rural Manitoba. The pilot was completed in 2009. About 4 500 electric and 950 natural gas smart meters remain in Winnipeg and about 200 electric smart meters remain in rural Manitoba to assist staff with moves, inquiries, adjustments, and other daily tasks.
In 2009, additional testing of production smart meters was successfully completed in a laboratory.
Manitoba Hydro is now assessing the business case for a broader implementation of electric and natural gas smart meters in Manitoba.
To date, the meter industry has focused on electric functionalities. This focus has resulted in considerable benefits, such as voltage monitoring, and a positive electric business case. Electric smart meters also represent the first step into the larger Smart Grid. Less focus has been placed by the industry on developing natural gas functionalities, making the business case for implementation of natural gas smart meters more challenging. Manitoba Hydro continues to research natural gas functionalities and alternate technologies.