AMS era fast approaching

AMS era fast approaching

2011 saw the firing shot in the race to introduce advanced metering systems (AMS) in Norway, and perhaps the largest ever project undertaken by the country’s energy industry. Hafslund Nett is well underway with preparations to ensure that the grid company’s 550,000 customers receive AMS ahead of the stipulated deadline.

In summer 2011 the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) established the final regulation governing the introduction of AMS. Hafslund Nett had already started preparations for its introductory project, which represents the largest individual project in the company’s history both in terms of investments and operations.

New meters, which are the main component of the AMS solution, shall be installed at all Norwegian grid customers by the end of 2016. With AMS, customers will no longer have to read their own meters and will always receive an accurate electricity bill, while the new meters will entail significant benefits for Hafslund Nett in terms of planning and operation of the electricity grid.

All types of existing meters – both older mechanical electricity meters and more modern types of electronic meters – will be replaced with new meters based on cutting-edge technology. However, AMS is not just a question of meters; the equipment used for communication and management at customers’ premises, communication solutions between customers and Hafslund Nett, and the systems required to receive, store and process the meter data in the AMS system are all important components of the total solution.

Ten pre-qualified suppliers are competing for the tender to deliver AMS to Hafslund Nett, and the final contract will be signed in the third quarter of 2012. This will be followed by preparation of the project implementation in collaboration with selected suppliers, before a major pilot is implemented ahead of the rollout. Hafslund Nett aims to have AMS installed at all grid customers comfortably ahead of the deadline of 31 December 2016.

AMS is being introduced to satisfy requirements for a more efficient energy market and improved cost-efficiency in the supply system. At the same time, requirements for operational safety and more co-ordinated planning will require more detailed information on grid conditions. AMS will provide Hafslund with detailed data on the supply situation at the outer reaches of the grid and at customers’ premises, information which is not currently available to the same extent.

AMS will pave the way for the use of new technology that facilitates even greater interactivity with end-users than AMS alone. Customers will be able to be smarter electricity users; power suppliers will be able to offer new and more bespoke types of agreement, and a new market for third-party suppliers will open up offering smart solutions that can help customers to improve their day-to-day energy-efficiency.