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Cookeville Expecting Good ROI From Advanced Metering Infrastructure Agreement

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville Expecting Good ROI From Advanced Metering Infrastructure Agreement

City of Cookeville finally moving forward with its advanced metering infrastructure project.

The council approved an agreement at its meeting Thursday night. Electric Department Director Carl Haney said the system will have many benefits for both the citizens and the city.

“Some of the advantages are the automatic reading of the meters, being able to remotely turn on and off electric services, save us a lot in equipment and personnel,” Haney said. “Outage management, which is both a benefit to our citizens and our electric department.”

Haney said the agreement comes in two phases: a pilot phase and full deployment. He said they estimate about six months for the pilot phase to implement the equipment and the communications infrastructure.

Haney said the pilot phase will cost almost $250,000. To fully deploy the system for the electric, gas, and water departments could cost in the neighborhood of $13 million. However, the city is not on the hook to fully deploy the system after agreeing to do the pilot program. He said it could take about three years to fully deploy.

“Initially in the pilot type of meters you can imagine all three departments have both residential to commercial and industrial meters,” Haney said. “We’ll pick out so many of those, and make sure we get a good diversity of those to be able to check them and be happy with those meters. Once we get past the pilot phase, our plan, as soon as we can start getting those meters in as new construction, use those and plug those, because they can still be read manually until we’re up and running with it.”

Haney said they estimate the shelf-life of the meters to be about ten years or more. He said the company is hosting all the software and will be in charge of updates.

“I don’t think the magnitude of this can be understated,” Council Member Chad Gilbert said. “I mean the labor that this is going to save, with the trucks running hte road, I mean the ripple effect of these savings.”


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