Tennessee Utilities Plan Pilot Communications Project
The Tennessee Valley Authority, Nashville Electric Service (NES) and Lucent Technologies will conduct a pilot project in Tennessee this summer to test remote meter reading and other interactive services. The pilot project, which will use Lucent`s two-way customer communications system, is set to begin in the third quarter and is the first phase of a planned implementation of interactive energy management and remote meter reading systems for Nashville Electric`s more than 296,000 customers. Approximately 150 NES residential and commercial/industrial customers will take part.
The homes of participating residential customers will have electric central heating, air-conditioning and water-heating systems that they will be able to program to operate in response to real-time pricing signals sent by the utility. Participating commercial and industrial customers will have demands of between 50 and 5,000 kW.
Called the Lucent Customer Connection for Utilities, the customer communications system is designed to enable two-way, real-time communications between utilities and its customers. Its flexible, open-architecture allows utilities to automate utility functions and deliver new services to customers through a variety of communications providers, including cellular and personal communications services firms, cable television providers and telephone companies.
Utility functions that can be automated with the Lucent system include: meter reading, outage and tamper detection, time-of-use metering, load control, load profiling and service connect/disconnect.