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MONTRÉAL, May 25 /CNW/ - Hydro-Québec has announced the signing of a contract with Landis+Gyr for the acquisition of an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and
3 million next-generation meters. With this contract, Hydro-Québec is entering a new stage in the development of a smart grid, which, in
the long term, will cut costs to customers.
Hydro-Québec selected Landis+Gyr through an open request for proposals.
"The globally recognized firm Landis+Gyr will provide a comprehensive
end-to-end solution, thus guaranteeing the integrity of the entire
metering system. This advanced metering infrastructure will reduce our
operating costs and thus benefit all our customers, while making it
possible to gradually introduce new functions in response to their
needs," said Isabelle Courville, President of Hydro-Québec
Distribution, at a press conference. "Hydro-Québec is pleased that a
centre of excellence will be established in greater Montréal area, as
announced by Landis+Gyr today," she added. Under the contract signed
with Hydro-Québec, this centre will employ up to 75 people, but its
staff could reach up to 200 if contracts are signed with other Canadian
From 2012 to 2017, the implementation of remote meter reading will lead
to the elimination of 725 positions. These cuts will chiefly affect
meter readers, whose services will no longer be required with the new
technology. Under the terms of the various employment contracts in
effect, all permanent staff affected will be assigned to other jobs
unless they retire over the next five years.
Benefits to customers
This technological platform will provide practical benefits to
customers. Billing will be based on actual consumption and never
estimated, as is sometimes the case now. Customers will no longer have
to fill in meter-reading cards when they move. Remote connection will
be possible, which will also be very convenient when people are moving,
for example. And Hydro-Québec will no longer have to go on customer
premises to read meters, causing much less inconvenience, especially to
residential customers with indoor meters.
Economic spinoffs for Québec
Combined with the establishment of the centre of excellence, the rollout
of an AMI platform will create employment for skilled workers in every
region of Québec and will lead to the development of home-grown
expertise in metering and smart grid applications.
The purchase, installation and operation of next-generation meters will
save $300 million over the next 20 years. An initial investment of
$100 million is required to set up the underlying AMI.
Worldwide, over a hundred public utilities are in various stages of AMI
implementation. In addition to remote meter reading, this scalable
technological platform will ultimately support a range of new
functions, including outage detection, personal energy management,
demand-side management, as well as remote service restoration and
interruption and handling of electricity theft.
Hydro-Québec will be running three pilot projects over the next year,
from June 2011 until May 2012, before rolling out the new meters
throughout the province. The pilot projects will run in Boucherville
(6,000 meters), Montréal (19,000 meters) and the regional county
municipality of Memphrémagog (2,000 meters). The company plans to
install meters throughout the province as of 2012, starting in the
greater Montréal area. The rollout in the rest of the province will
continue until 2017.
Hydro-Québec will file its full application with the Régie de l'énergie
[Québec energy board] in the next few weeks.
Hydro-Québec generates, transmits and distributes electricity. Its sole
shareholder is the Québec government. The company uses mainly renewable
generating options, in particular hydropower, and supports the
development of wind energy through purchases from independent power
producers. It also conducts research in energy-related fields such as
/NOTE TO EDITORS: Media Assets accompanying this story are available as
For further information:
For more information at Hydro-Québec:
Telephone: (514) 289-3173