Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Apex CoVantage wins tender in VIWAPA smart-grid deployment

Iain Morris
March 25, 2014

Apex CoVantage says it has been chosen to supply installation and project-management services to the US Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority (VIWAPA) as part of the utility’s smart-metering deployment.

The smart-grid specialist claims to have been selected during a “competitive bidding process, from a group of highly capable companies”.

Apex (Herndon, VA, USA) has developed a full enterprise resource planning platform for mobile workforce management – branded ProField – and this platform will be used to manage various deployment activities on the VIWAPA project.

The system covers activities such as safety management, asset management, remote management of field operations, hiring and training, and real-time reporting.

According to Apex, VIWAPA was particularly concerned about job-site safety and data quality.

It says ProField’s “intelligent workflows” are capable of addressing process-related errors and safety infractions that commonly occur during projects of this nature.

“The advanced technology of ProField, with its focus on efficiency and work safety, were the key aspects that made Apex and ProField the best fit for VIWAPA,” said Clinton Hedrington, VIWAPA’s director of transmission and distribution.

Like other organisations embarking on smart-grid deployments, VIWAPA hopes to better serve its customers through remote meter reading, improving outage management and the way in which it delivers power services to consumers.

Using smart meters, customers should be able to receive detailed information about their usage and costs, allowing them to make more informed decisions about electricity consumption.

VIWAPA says that all customers living in its service territory are to receive new electric smart meters as a result of its initiative, with pre-planning and system integration now under way and related fieldworks scheduled to begin shortly.

Earlier this month, smart-grid players Itron (Liberty Lake, WA, USA) and Tantalus (Raleigh, NC, USA) also secured contracts as part of VIWAPA’s planned deployment.

The two companies are collaborating on technology for more than 55,000 electricity customers on the islands of Saint Croix, Saint John and Saint Thomas, and say their solution will facilitate the use of advanced applications, including automated metering and demand management.

The VIWAPA project is being funded by the US Department of Agriculture and will use a range of communications technologies based on integrating the Tantalus platform with hardware from Itron.
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