5 Questions with Cheryl Robertson on SaskPower's Smart Meter Pilot
February 21, 2018
We sat down with Cheryl Robertson, Director of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), to get an update on how SaskPower’s smart meter pilot is going since it was announced in October 2017.
What was the pilot about?
Learning from 2014, we selected a meter that went above and beyond industry standards. We did this through our own rigorous testing and third-party testing. The pilot we began in October was another opportunity for us to check that the meters met our new standards. We also tested functionality, software and our data communication network on a small scale.
Between October 2017 and January 2018, we installed 584 commercial and industrial smart meters. This was on the sites of two of our oilfield customers. We also installed meters on SaskPower and SaskEnergy facilities.
What’s going well with the pilot?
To date, we’ve been able to check and adjust our internal processes and systems. We're using a small batch of meters now to ensure we’re ready to go with a larger number of meters in the future.
So far, meters are operating as planned. We’ve gained the confidence we need to move into the next phase of this project.
Did you learn anything unexpected?
We learned that some meter locations would need other installed meters to “buddy” with to communicate effectively with our network. As a result, we’ll adjust our plans for our next pilot to ensure we maximize the number of meters communicating.
What can you tell me about your next pilot?
Our next step is to move into our next pilot and install 7,500 more commercial and industrial smart meters in 2018. This allows us another opportunity to verify the system and ensure our workforce and system are ready to go for a provincial rollout.
Please remember that the meters we’re piloting are not residential meters for your home. We're not planning a residential deployment yet. When we reach that point, we will do the same type of testing and piloting as we are with our commercial and industrial meters.
When will I learn more?
When we’re ready to start our next pilot of 7,500 meters, there will be another public announcement. You can expect to hear more in the spring of 2018.