Telvent has introduced, with its business partner Echelon Corp., the new Pilot-in-a-Box Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) program at the DistribuTECH Conference and Exposition held early in February. The Pilot-in-a-Box is a fully working, preconfigured system ready to connect, providing electric utilities a low-cost and low-risk means of studying AMI implementation.

At the core of the AMI Pilot are Echelon’s Networked Energy System (NES) smart meters and data collectors, all communicating back to Telvent’s Titanium automated meter management system software. Titanium provides a web services view into the system of meters and data concentrators, managing auto-recognition of components and communications. Designed to provide out-of-the-box AMI capability, the Pilot-in-a-Box helps electric power providers evaluate two-way meter communications and Titanium’s field management of meters and data collectors, all prior to larger-scale deployment. Telvent also provides expert AMI training and implementation services.

Telvent’s Smart Grid initiatives have the goal of developing and implementing a safer and more reliable and affordable electric power delivery system. As a part of Telvent’s Smart Grid Solution (SGS), the AMI Pilot-in-a-Box models the integration of the best proven technologies that can be delivered today and can immediately help utilities understand the potential of deploying an AMI solution. Utility customers who have already previewed Pilot-in-a-Box, part of Telvent’s Smart Metering Solution, have responded enthusiastically and indicated their intention to adopt the AMI program.

Jeff Meyers, head of Telvent’s Smart Grid Solution initiative, noted, “Utilities are under pressure to create a grid that distributes electricity more efficiently and securely, to meet increasing demand in a sustainable way, and to improve customer service. Meeting that objective requires they need actionable, real-time information. Our AMI Pilot-in-a-Box was developed specifically to help them transition from a commodity broadcast delivery to a reliable, two-way information highway. The positive response we’ve received, this soon, tells us we’re on the right track.”

“With the current stimulus bill funds provided for smart grid grants, many utilities will be reviewing their plans to modernize and strengthen their grids and increase energy efficiency," said Jim Andrus, Echelon's vice president, Networked Energy Services (NES) Sales. “The Pilot-in-a-Box comes at a crucial time in this evaluation process, making it easier for utilities to test our market-leading AMI solution.”