Better, Faster, Smarter
It seems in this day and age everything is becoming smarter. Cell phones have facial recognition, watches can track your heartrate, and now even water meters have learned to communicate!
Aligned with the nationwide Smart Grid, the Borough of Manasquan in NJ recently upgraded 3,500 residential water meters with new smart technology. The Smart Grid initiative is adopting the necessary technology and software that enables unlimited two-way communication between utility providers and its customers.
Why is this important?
The new water meters have been upgraded with technology called Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). AMI is just one component of the Smart Grid system that has sensors along transmission lines that provides constant communication to the Borough with real-time data about the water system and utility usage.
How this was Accomplished
Municipal infrastructure projects can be cost prohibitive unless they receive some financial relief from state and/or federal agencies. In this case, the Borough employed the assistance of Kelsey Howard, Grants and Funding Service Coordinator at Maser Consulting, and her team, to help identify which agency would be most appropriate for their needs and navigate them through the application process. The New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program (NJEIFP), administered by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT), provides financing for clean water and drinking water projects. Through their combined efforts, the Borough recently obtained a $1.5 million loan for the project.
Mayor of Manasquan, Edward Donovan, explains the water meter system is beneficial to the Borough because it enables the opportunity to draw accurate amount of allocated water without any waste. Additionally, the system creates cost savings to payers by reducing the need for manual readings and increasing their accuracy.
The Smart Grid also enables newer technologies to be integrated in a more reliable and seamless way, such as wind and solar energy production as well as plug-in electric vehicle production. This integrated system provides a new era of reliability, availability, and efficiency that will contribute to our ever-evolving lifestyles.
For more information regarding the Smart Grid, click here.