Elster, Tropos help with Naperville smart grid

NAPERVILLE, ILLINOIS - Elster and Tropos Networks announced that the City of Naperville, Illinois has selected their solutions as part of the Naperville Smart Grid Initiative NSGI.

Key goals of the NSGI are to help modernize the electric grid, to improve operational efficiencies and power reliability and to empower Naperville electric customers with more information and options in choosing how they use electricity.

Elster’s EnergyAxis Smart Grid solution and Smart Meters will provide advanced metering infrastructure AMI capabilities. Tropos’ GridCom architecture will provide the private wireless IP communications network across the distribution area, initially supporting backhaul of data collected by Elster’s EnergyAxis system. Naperville also will utilize combined solutions from Schneider and Calico Energy Services to provide load control management services.

Part of the NSGI includes providing customers with tools to monitor and reduce their energy usage if they choose. Customers will have the option to remain with a flat rate billing structure or one based on time-of-use pricing.

From the utility side, the initiative will provide increased reliability and efficiencies, decrease line loss and reduce wasted energy. The NSGI also will prepare the utility’s infrastructure for future energy efficiency programs, including support for electric vehicles and integration of renewable energy sources.

“The City of Naperville is committed to modernizing our utility delivery infrastructure to provide customers with innovative new services and options for managing energy consumption,” said Nadja Lalvani, City of Naperville community relations manager. “We are pleased to be working with Elster and Tropos on this project. These vendors have shown the unique ability to complete deployments of all sizes and we look forward to working with them to introduce the benefits of the Smart Grid to our community,” Lalvani added.

During the first half of 2011, the City of Naperville will conduct two pilots to test the technology and processes to ensure successful implementation of the full program. Beginning in the 4th quarter of 2011, the mass deployment of more than 57,000 Smart Meters is scheduled to begin. The entire project is targeted for completion by September 2012.

Elster’s EnergyAxis Smart Grid communications solution and Smart Meters will initially be installed on Naperville’s electricity network and will be tested for future potential water and gas deployments. Tropos’ GridCom architecture will provide a highly reliable and secure communications foundation and comprehensive wireless network management, which the utility will leverage for multiple applications beyond AMI backhaul, including distribution automation, substation automation and many others.

The City of Naperville was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy matching-funds grant through the Smart Grid Investment Grant program, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. West Monroe Partners is providing consulting and integration services in connection with the deployment.

“The City of Naperville has always been a forward-thinking community, so it is no surprise that it is embracing the Smart Grid to improve energy conservation across its electric utility infrastructure,” said Mark Munday, president and CEO of Elster Solutions. “Working in tandem with Tropos, Elster will help enable Naperville’s end-to-end Smart Grid deployment and provide a blueprint for other utilities to follow,” Munday added.

“I look forward to working with the City of Naperville to help them create their Smart Grid vision,” said Tom Ayers, president and CEO of Tropos Networks. “Together, Elster and Tropos provide a highly reliable, field-proven foundation for the rollout of AMI and many other smart grid applications in the future,” Ayers added.


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