CUC completes smart meter installations in Dandan

The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. recently completed the first phase of a project to replace 1,056 electric meters in Dandan with newer units to reduce losses arising from obsolete meters.

Phase 1 of the smart meter replacement project began in April 2019 and its target completion was last May.

CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho informed the CUC board during last week’s meeting that the first phase was completed only last June 14 as CUC efforts were diverted to Super Typhoon Yutu restoration efforts and work on the project only resumed in May.

Phase 1 included facility inspections and installation of 1,056 Nighthawk Advanced Metering Infrastructures smart meters in Dandan.

With that complete, CUC is now in the planning stage of the second phase, which is to install the AMI metering system on Tinian by the end of this month.

Camacho said CUC is now testing, observing, and mastering the benefits of the system, data, and reports.

He said Phase 1 is the first of multiple phases aimed to modernize the electric grid and meet the evolving energy demands of customers in the CNMI.

The ultimate goal is to replace the obsolete electro-mechanical meter models with the Itron Nighthawk AMI smart meters in the CNMI. This will eliminate the need for manual meter reading, reduce vehicle/fleet fuel use, and reduce manual disconnections and reconnections, Camacho said, among other benefits.

The system will improve the metering and billing program and allow metering communications to improve billing accuracy and settlements and reduce inefficiencies with billing features.

CUC currently has 3,000 Nighthawk AMI meters in its inventory.

In May 2018, CUC reported that they were able to install 491 AMI meters in residential and government accounts on Saipan.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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