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    Thursday, August 22, 2019-7:56:16P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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CUC completes phase 1 of smart-meter project in Dandan

THE Commonwealth Utilities Corp. completed phase 1 of the Advanced Metering Infrastructure or AMI project for smart meters on June 14, CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho said.

“CUC is now testing, observing and mastering the benefits of the system, data and reports, and is in the planning stage for phase 2 of the project which is to initiate deployment of the AMI metering system on the island of Tinian by the end of July this year,” he said in a report to the CUC board on Friday.

Phase 1 of the project aims to “modernize CUC’s electric grid and facilitate smart grid practice that meets the evolving energy demands of electric customers in the CNMI,” he added.

Phase 1 started in April 2019 and included facility inspections and the installation of 1,056 smart meters in Dandan by the end of May, Camacho said, adding that it was set back slightly because of the post-typhoon restoration projects.

Camacho said the AMI will enable a two-way dialogue between CUC and its electric customers on energy demand management,

The project will also replace the obsolete electromechanical meter models with Nighthawk smart meters “to benefit from the modern technology that these meters are equipped with,” he added.

Through this project, he said CUC will have a return on its investment which includes improvements in the metering and billing program, billing accuracy and reducing inefficiencies with real-time billing features.

The AMI will eliminate the need for manual meter reading, reduce vehicle and fleet fuel usage, and reduce manual disconnections and reconnections, Camacho said.

The project has remote outage detection and tampering alert capabilities, he added.

Moreover, “customer on this metering system can respond to their energy consumption patterns and act on energy conservation measures.”

Camacho said the post-pay feature of the project will eliminate the need to print bills and notices while improving cash flow and reducing receivables.

“It will reduce inefficiencies which will result in savings and benefits for the corporation and its customers,” he added.