“If customers have concerns about these kinds of things, please reach out,” Gavit said. “We would be willing to discuss it with them.”
In February, the College Station City Council approved a $517,000 contract with IPKeys Power Partners and a $6.8 million contract with Landis+Gyr Technology. The former is for software that will tie into the city’s billing system, while the latter is for everything else including the meters and the network to acquire data.
During the February meeting, Director of College Station’s electric utility Timothy Crabb said in a presentation to the council that the city will break even within about nine and a half years, and the system is expected to last 15 years or more. He said that there are 8 million AMI meters in the state.
Bryan Texas Utilities has been using AMI since 2011.
Getting the ball rolling on introducing AMI to College Station included a couple of years of contract preparation and vendor research, which included city officials touring and interviewing other utilities across the state to determine which vendor fit local needs best.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the project has moved forward, but Gavit and Jordan said CSU employees have worked to ensure that there was not a delay.
Soon after the contracts were approved in February, the pandemic caused Landis+Gyr representatives to be unable to travel to College Station to show the city how to install equipment necessary for the network. To avoid a delay in the project’s schedule, city representatives read the manuals necessary, installed the equipment and sent photographs for approval to Landis+Gyr.