Sixnet's IndustrialPro cellular routers are being used by Black Hills Power to provide wireless backhaul connectivity for the company’s secure Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project. The AMI collects data from smart meters at more than 69,000 customer sites over a 3G cellular network, allowing Black Hills to remotely monitor energy consumption and maximize power availability.

“Previously, we checked electric meters manually, which was a time-consuming process that involved a great deal of driving and home visits,” said Rick Dobbe, communications engineer at Black Hills Power. “The security, performance and reliability of Sixnet’s rugged cellular routers give us real-time access to data so that we can remotely monitor energy use, outage and restoration notifications and alarms over our Verizon 3G network, helping us to conserve costs while increasing productivity.”

Black Hills Power provides safe, reliable service to 69,000 residential and commercial customers in 25 communities in western South Dakota, southeastern Montana and northeastern Wyoming. Black Hills’ AMI initiative, which began installing smart meters in customer homes in June 2010, is a smart grid project that contributes to the national goal of building an intelligent grid to serve the public interest and conserve energy.

Sixnet's IndustrialPro routers provide secure, cost-effective cellular connectivity to remote locations and devices such as meters, sensors or RTUs in industrial environments. The IndustrialPro routers used by Black Hills Power are managed by Sixnet’s SixView Manager, which enables remote management, configuration and monitoring of multiple devices from a single console.