GE Wireless Radios Power Houston Smart Grid Systems

CenterPoint Energy and GE partner on a plan to create Web-savvy meters.

K.C. Jones

March 30, 2009

1 Min Read
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CenterPoint Energy has teamed up with GE for wireless communications for its Advanced Metering System.

The AMS network aims to allow Houston-area consumers to monitor and manage electric use and cost. GE Digital Energy's MDS Mercury 3650 radios will help relay electric utility meter data between consumers' homes and businesses and CenterPoint's data center.

This month, CenterPoint began to replace existing meters with more than 145,000 smart meters. GE announced its role in the effort Monday.

The company aims to install all of the smart meters by the end of the year. Within five years, CenterPoint hopes to have the AMS network cover a 5,000-square-mile service area for more than 2.4 million consumers around Houston.

"The Advanced Metering System is our first step in developing a smart grid -- comprised of technology, automation and electrical infrastructure integration," Kenny Mercado, senior VP of advanced metering deployment at CenterPoint, said in a statement released Monday.

Larry Sollecito, president and CEO of GE Digital Energy, said the MDS Mercury 3650 radios offer reliability, ruggedness, and long-distance capabilities.

Once the AMS is installed, retail electric providers can offer new products and services to consumers. For example, consumers will be able use computer screens to monitor energy use and energy prices in real time. They will be able to see how much electricity their appliances use and remotely control appliances via the Internet. Users will be able to turn their lights on and off and adjust the temperatures in their homes while on vacation.

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