ABB will provide wireless network products and services to support the deployment of smart meters across the City of Memphis, Tennessee,US.

The introduction of smart meters is expected to improve efficiency of electricity, water and gas supplies and mitigate loss and theft. The wireless network will support advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) communications, covering an area of around 2030 square kilometers (sq km) and will collect data from nearly 1 million smart meters.

"Our advanced wireless solution will support the deployment of smart metering infrastructure and enable more efficient distribution of electricity, water and gas to the citizens of Memphis," said Massimo Danieli, Managing Director of ABB’s Grid Automation business unit, a part of the company’s Power Grids division. "This is another example of how ABB is facilitating the increased automation of power networks to enable a smarter grid – a key element of our Next Level strategy."

Smart meters measure energy consumption and send information on this and other factors such as power quality and outages back to the grid owner. This allows real-time monitoring of the energy distribution system and supports the development of smart grids, which are evolved grid systems that manage electricity demand in a sustainable, reliable and economic manner, built on advanced infrastructure and tuned to facilitate the integration of all involved. Smart grids are one factor in the consistent sustainable urban planning required to build smart cities.

Alongside intelligent technology, smart grids rely on incentive models and actively encouraging consumers to participate in the energy market, for example by reducing energy consumption when the price of electricity is high and shifting it to times when it is low and there is less environmental impact. There are also added customer benefits, for example, consumers in Memphis will benefit from instant-on pre-paid service transfer and service restoration after an outage.

ABB’s high performance, robust and secure wireless networks are specifically designed for electrical distribution utilities. Previous successful deployments of ABB wireless networks for AMI backhaul include Silicon Valley Power, Kansas City Board of Public Utilities and Idaho Falls Power. In addition to AMI, ABB’s wireless networks support multiple additional applications for distribution automation, substation automation, physical security and mobile workforce automation. ABB is involved in several smart grid projects around the world, enabling various aspects of smart grids from e-mobility and energy storage to network management, metering and communication, distribution automation and building automation systems.