Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Verizon updates PenLight distribution

Steve Rogerson
August 7, 2019

Verizon is updating Washington state’s Peninsula Light (PenLight) power distribution system with a grid-wide intelligent energy platform.
Electric meters equipped with Verizon cellular connectivity will replace end-of-life meters in the homes and businesses of more than 33,000 PenLight customers. The meters can then be managed using Verizon’s grid-wide platform.
The managed, cloud-based IoT platform-as-a-service developed by Verizon can help utilities modernise their systems. Utilities can remotely configure, monitor and manage end-points within their service areas, creating operational efficiencies and improving customer service across the board.
“Utilities want to offer customers the benefits of IoT technologies, but can face costly infrastructure upgrades to do so,” said Steve Szabo, head of Verizon’s IoT products group. “Verizon’s grid-wide platform-as-a-service is a highly scalable and robust environment that combines a rich, world-class IoT application suite with the nation’s largest, most reliable 4G LTE network. With near real-time data, Peninsula Light will gain the insights it needs to improve operational efficiency, control costs and offer an even higher level of service for its members.”
Members of PenLight – a member-owned electric cooperative serving the communities of Gig Harbor and the Key Peninsula in Washington – should benefit from improved meter reporting and billing accuracy, and better power outage management, including improved outage identification, confirmation and response time.
 “Verizon’s grid-wide solution offers us a reliable, secure, managed cellular-based platform via which to run our distribution network,” said PenLight’s CEO Jafar Taghavi. “We’re building on our already strong relationship with Verizon, with Grid Wide. The solution perfectly addresses our appetite for more system data as it relates to voltage, power quality and incremental demand, and offers reliable inputs to our outage management system.”
Taghavi described Grid Wide as the continuation of a journey as PenLight developed more efficient energy delivery options.
“Our board of directors has long supported our search for innovative ways to further improve the reliability and service we give to our members,” Taghavi said. “Grid Wide allows our operations team to see issues earlier and respond faster while also helping keep costs low and service delivery as high as possible. Perhaps most importantly, Verizon gives us the ability to remain nimble within the rapidly changing dynamics of the electric utility industry.”
Verizon is working with a number of utilities to enable technologically advanced systems by leveraging its 4G LTE network and expertise in security technology. Grid Wide extends operational visibility and management capabilities with the goal of simplifying, accelerating and enhancing grid transformation.