IBM wins $68.5 million smart-meter deal in Ontario

IT giant IBM has won a five-year deal worth $68.5 million to support a smart-metering initiative in Ontario, Canada.

Under the contract with Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) – which is responsible for managing Ontario's bulk electricity power system and operating the wholesale market – IBM will provide computing infrastructure and an updated operating environment for Ontario’s Meter Data Management and Repository (MDM/R) system.

IBM (Armonk, USA) says it won the contract through a competitive procurement process and that its deal includes options to extend work over a seven- or ten-year period.

It plans to improve the performance of the MDM/R by contributing new computing infrastructure, an enhanced web services facility that can support increasing volumes of requests for consumption information, better disaster-recovery capabilities and operational improvements aimed at reducing risks and costs.

“The IESO needed a service provider with extensive knowledge and experience operating such a large-scale, complex, high-transaction volume service,” said Przemek Tomczak, the direct of smart metering at the IESO. “After conducting a thorough and extensive competitive procurement process, we are pleased to have IBM operate the MDM/R at the lowest risk and total cost of ownership to the IESO, local distribution utilities and ratepayers of Ontario.”

By allowing billing according to time-of-use rates, Ontario’s MDM/R is aimed at encouraging consumers to shift more of their energy use to off-peak periods.

The system is used by 72 local distribution utilities serving some 4.7 million customers and processing around 100 million transactions every day.

“Insights gained from big data information networks and analytics systems will help consumers make smarter use of energy and utilities make better informed energy decisions to benefit all stakeholders,” said Michael Valocchi, the global energy and utilities industry leader for IBM.

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