Advanced Meter Fort Collins (AMFC) for the City of Fort Collins Utilities

Intelligent/Smart Grid infrastructure: Advanced Meter Fort Collins (AMFC) for the City of Fort Collins Utilities; Black and Veatch

08/09/2012


Project name: Advanced Meter Fort Collins (AMFC) for the City of Fort Collins Utilities

Location: Fort Collins, Colo.

Firm name: Black and Veatch

Project type: Intelligent/Smart Grid infrastructure

Project duration: 3 years

Project completion date: July 31, 2015

Project budget for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection engineering only:

  • $20 million (AMI budget)
  • $10 million (other software solutions and customer services for AMI)
  • $5 million (consulting services–system integration/program management)

Engineering challenges

Fort Collins Utilities is undergoing a significant transformation in the way it runs its business and interacts with its customers. That is what Fort Collins Utilities imagined when it decided to embark upon its Smart Grid implementation. This Smart Grid project closely aligns with its 21st Century Utilities Initiative, which supports a broader community vision of protecting and preserving the quality of life in northern Colorado.

Because of the impacts of the environmental footprint and the many challenges facing a municipal utility, Fort Collins looked for a much more ambitious and intentional approach to how to conduct business. These initiatives place historic and future actions within a framework of sustainable decisions and policy choices, all designed to deliver the level of service the utility’s customers expect and do it in an environmentally and socially responsible way while making the best economic choices for the long term. Fort Collins’ purpose is what guides it today: inspiring community leadership by reducing environmental impact while benefiting customers, the economy, and society.

The scope of work includes the following major support areas:

  • Stakeholder outreach and communication plan
  • Cyber security plan
  • Smart Grid/AMI vision
  • Technical infrastructure/architecture
  • Program/project management planning and implementation
  • Procurement services and management oversight for:
    • Automated metering infrastructure (AMI)
    • Meter data management system (MDMS)
    • Cyber security implementation
    • Customer Web portal
    • Demand response management system (DRMS)
    • End point installation services 
  • Systems test planning/acceptance testing
  • Implementation of multiple project components
  • Business case update and validation
  • Change management planning/execution
  • Project reporting
  • Transition /training
  • Deployment management
  • Business process reengineering

Solutions

Black and Veatch provided Fort Collins with access to electric and water industry best practices in Smart Grid implementations. Service/area of expertise included:

Consulting and planning. Black and Veatch assisted Fort Collins in leading a comprehensive assessment of its business, operating, and customer requirements to provide an integrated Smart Grid solution inclusive of AMI and MDMS technologies. Similar assessments are presently underway for delivery of fully integrated customer Web portal, demand response management system (DRMS), and supporting implementation services. 

Management consulting. Black and Veatch is leading the business process reengineering track for Fort Collins’ Smart Grid project. This effort includes the development and implementation of the change management framework to guide the organization through the transition to the future Smart Grid enabled state envisioned at completion. 

Procurement. Black and Veatch worked within the Fort Collins procurement framework to adapt its industry proven experience, resulting in innovative fine-tuning of the Fort Collins procurement practices. This partnership led to the successful, competitive solicitation and procurement of strategic Smart Grid technologies including AMI and MDMS. Similar solicitations are presently underway for a customer Web portal, demand response management system (DRMS) and supporting implementation services.

Program management. Black and Veatch is providing comprehensive program management services that dovetail with the DOE reporting as required of Fort Collins for its Smart Grid investment grant. Black and Veatch is providing integrated scheduling, risk management, quality management, scope management, and integrated project management oversight of all Smart Grid technology solutions procured under this project. Black and Veatch is providing comprehensive development and execution of all system testing and acceptance activities.

System integrator. Black and Veatch is leading the development and implementation of the enterprise-wide systems architecture designed to assure that all Smart Grid solutions are fully integrated within the Fort Collins and city IT infrastructure. Black and Veatch is providing oversight and system testing of all integration solutions.

Security. Black and Veatch’s work included review and modification of the cyber security plan filed by Fort Collins in support of its Smart Grid investment grant, and the development of the cyber security implementation framework necessary to support execution of that plan. Black and Veatch’s role continues with the translation of these cyber security plans into detailed requirements embodied in the procurement process for the specific Smart Grid technologies.

Smart Grid. This project represents a collaborative partnership with the City of Fort Collins Utilities, uniting Fort Collins’ vision with Black and Veatch’s proven Smart Grid industry knowledge and implementation know-how. Black and Veatch has provided Fort Collins with unique access to electric and water industry best practices in Smart Grid implementations, affording Fort Collins the ability to assess, pick, and apply those practices that best suit its business, operating, and customer needs.

Environmental. Black and Veatch is highly cognizant of Fort Collins broader community vision of protecting and preserving the quality of life in northern Colorado. By tapping Black and Veatch’s industry knowledge of Smart Grid solution implementation, Fort Collins is able to thoughtfully examine and implement a balanced solution that meets its operating, customer, and environmental goals.



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