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Accenture (NYSE:ACN) has been selected by FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE), a leading U.S. diversified energy company, to manage the roll-out of approximately two million smart meters to its customers across its four Pennsylvania-based utilities, including Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power and West Penn Power.
This represents one of the largest new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) deployments in North America and the contract signing follows approval from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
FirstEnergy will install more than two million smart meters over the next several years, meeting all the functional and business requirements outlined in Act 129 passed by the Pennsylvania legislature in 2008.
Under a multi-year contract, Accenture Smart Grid Services will advise FirstEnergy on managing its AMI program by providing services in areas such as program management, business process design, change impact and communications, vendor management, solution architecture, testing and smart metering network operations.
The new AMI platform will deliver significant operational efficiencies, support new and existing customer services programs, and enable FirstEnergy to gain actionable business insights through better visibility into real-time data.
“Smart meters will ultimately create a two-way communication between us and our customers that will help us better understand their energy needs, improve our service, and balance supply and demand more efficiently,” said John Dargie from FirstEnergy. “After a rigorous selection process, we chose Accenture due to its extensive experience in smart metering deployments and we look forward to leveraging this experience to help us de-risk the implementation and allow us to meet our timeline.”
“We are excited to be working with FirstEnergy, one of the country’s largest utilities, on this important and transformational project”, said Jack Azagury, global managing director for Accenture Smart Grid Services. “Smart metering provides a critical and foundational capability as utilities undertake the journey towards a smarter, more resilient digital grid. Our research has shown that utilities are successfully leveraging the data from smart metering solutions through advanced analytics to drive innovative customer propositions, improved reliability, and reduced cost of operations.”