NorthWestern kicks off smart meter project in South Dakota
This week, Itron, NorthWestern Energy’s installation vendor, will be installing smart electric meters and gas modules in South Dakota for its electric and gas customers as part of an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) project.
The first meter is planned to be set in Aberdeen, S.D., this week. The project is expected to move south and wrap up in Nebraska by the end of 2019.
Smart meters use digital technology similar to a mobile phone that will allow for two-way communication between NorthWestern Energy and its meters that are on customer homes and businesses. The meters will record energy use and safely and securely communicate to NorthWestern’s computer data center.
Smart-meter technology will allow NorthWestern Energy to better support customer inquiries and pinpoint electric outages. In most cases, the system will notify NorthWestern of an outage without the need for a customer to call in to notify the company. This allows NorthWestern’s crews to return power to customers faster, which improves service reliability and power quality.