NWE provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving about 718,300 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. With the solution, NWE aims to reduce operating costs while improving service to customers and laying the foundation for future smart grid applications in South Dakota and Nebraska.
“We have been making significant investments in technology across the company and I’m very confident that our investment in advanced metering will help us provide even better service reliability to our customers in South Dakota and Nebraska,” said Curt Pohl, vice president, Distribution at NorthWestern Energy. “Itron’s OpenWay Riva solution will help us advance this mission by modernizing our energy infrastructure and enabling advanced functionality.”
NWE will benefit from OpenWay Riva’s secure, resilient multi-application network infrastructure and technology platform that features distributed computing power at every level of the network, including in every electric and gas meter. This enables real-time analysis of data and secured peer-to-peer communication among meters and intelligent devices within the network to manage rapidly changing electric grid conditions and ensure the safe delivery of gas. The solution also features adaptive communications technology to deliver high-performance communications with reliable connectivity in all types of service environments.
These capabilities will enable NWE to operate its system more efficiently and reliably as well as deliver new services and value to its customers. In addition to smart metering, the utility has the option to push various applications to edge devices, including revenue assurance and theft detection; outage management; high impedance detection and other safety diagnostics; transformer load management; demand response; and management of distributed generation at the sub-transformer level.