Texas New Mexico Power to deploy 231,000 SmartSynch meters

Jackson, Miss., June 28, 2010 — Texas-New Mexico Power has selected SmartSynch’s Residential SmartMeter solution for a 231,000 unit point-to-point deployment to residential customers throughout the utility’s Texas market.

This will mark the first mass residential deployment of smart metering solutions that use a public wireless network as the communications backbone.

Such networks allow the utility to bring efficient, secure smart grid technology to homes across multiple geographies — from dense, urban cities to remote, rural communities — all at lower cost and with greater flexibility to incorporate new technology in the future. TNMP filed a formal request to the Public Utility Commission of Texas on May 26, 2010.

TNMP’s decision was propelled by the performance of SmartSynch‘s initial 10,000 unit deployment in 2009, during which a 99.96 percent average daily read rate was achieved across multiple Texas geographies.

The deployment supported the collection of billing reads, remote service connect/disconnect capabilities and real-time event alarm notification. The SmartSynch solution was utilized to perform the first remote move-in and move-out service requests in the state of Texas.

This new 231,000 unit deployment will enable TNMP to monitor and identify trends on customer usage data in 15-minute intervals, expand capabilities to support energy management, and provide a Home Area Network (HAN) communications gateway enabling retail energy providers to manage demand response and energy efficiency activities.

TNMP customers will gain the ability to monitor and regulate electricity usage via the Internet and home devices. SmartSynch’s technology will also help TNMP provide faster and safer response to customer service requests and power outages, while reducing its meter reading, work order costs and overall carbon footprint resulting from lower truck use.

“The service, reliability, speed and ease of deployment, and performance we experienced during the trial surpassed our expectations, and made this an easy decision,” said Neal Walker, vice president, Texas Operations for TNMP. “In the last 12 months, we have consistently achieved a near-perfect, uninterrupted read rate regardless of where the SmartSynch SmartMeter units were deployed. Additionally, public wireless networks offer the greatest bandwidth available — enabling fast, secure and scalable functionality at a price competitive with any available alternative.”

“Today, everything changes in terms of the future of smart grid communications, as TNMP’s decision completely validates using public wireless networks for residential smart metering,” said Stephen Johnston, SmartSynch’s chief executive officer. “Commercial wireless carriers now realize the growth opportunity, and have radically reduced their pricing to make our solutions more cost effective than mesh network solutions. It just doesn’t make sense anymore for a utility to choose a slower, more complex and proprietary alternative, and I question whether two years from now utilities will purchase mesh at all.”


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