Smart Grid

February 08, 2013

IBM Wins $69 Million Contract to Operate Ontario's Smart Meter Data Management System

IBM unveiled on February 7 that it has been awarded a five-year, CA (News - Alert)$68.5 million (US$68.6 million) contract to continue supporting Ontario, Canada’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in the efficient installation and management of the province’s Meter Data Management and Repository (MDM/R) system. The deal was reached following a competitive procurement process and includes options to extend to seven or 10 years.

The MDM/R is a core part of Ontario’s Smart Meter Initiative, providing meter data management services that both enhance reliability of the power system and enable customers to better manage their electricity costs.

The MDM/R supports the meter-to-billing operations of 72 local distribution utilities and their 4.7 million customers—processing over 100 million transactions every day. The platform translates hourly energy consumption data into time-of-use (TOU) billing quantities (or buckets), for use by the local distribution utilities and their customers—who may choose to switch their power-intensive activities to nonpeak hours. Given that the MDM/R is the central repository of hourly data about residential and small business energy use in Ontario, it represents a valuable tool for big data analysis, research and energy trend forecasting over time.

IBM (News - Alert) has been working with the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESIO) since January 2007, when the computer giant entered into a contract for the development and operation of Ontario's Meter Data Management/Repository (MDM/R). Since then, IBM has finalized the design of the MDM/R and put in place a turnkey solution to support its operation.

Under the latest agreement, IBM will enhance the overall performance of the MDM/R through:

  • Enhanced web services to support increasing volumes of requests for consumption information,
  • Enhanced disaster recovery capabilities, and
  • Operational improvements, with a focus on reducing risk 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, director – 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.”

"The utilities industry is transforming at a rapid pace and requires smarter infrastructures, able to improve the performance and sustainability of energy systems while maintaining customer trust," said IBM Global Energy and Utilities Industry Leader, Michael Valocchi, adding, "Our global industry expertise will help the IESO support Ontario's industry transformation. 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.”

The IESO is responsible for managing Ontario's bulk electricity power system and operating the wholesale market. The IESO, as the Smart Metering Entity, is responsible for the administration and operation of the MDM/R, including the collection, validation, estimation and the ability for distributors to edit the meter read data.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli