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Stearns Electric Association AMR Project
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Lead Organization:
Stearns Electric Association
HQ Location:
Melrose, Minnesota
Project Contact Information:
Address:

900 East Kraft Drive
Melrose, MN 56352

(320) 256-4241
(800) 962-0655
Fax: 320-256-3618

 
Project Summary:

Stearns Electric Association serves nearly 25,000 customers in the Central MN region: Stearns, Todd, Morrison, Kandiyohi, Pope and Douglas counties. Wholesale Power Providers for this Coop are Great River Energy and Western Area Power Administration. It is a member The Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives brand which represents a nationwide alliance made of more than 700 local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives in 46 states. Touchstone Energy® cooperatives collectively deliver power and energy solutions to more than 30 million members every day. Electric cooperatives distribute power for 75 percent of the U.S. land mass over 2.4 million miles of power lines [1].

Stearns had been investing in automatic meter reading (AMR) with the following benefits and capabilities [2]:

- Remote meter reading – monthly readings will be sent to the co-op over the power lines, eliminating the need for members to read their meters.
- Increased ability to track power quality information such as outage/blink history, power usage patterns and power quality issues.
- Elimination of estimated bills and reduced billing inaccuracies.
- Load Management Cost Savings.
- More efficient outage restoration.

In 2008, Stearns signed agreements to install the Aclara Two-Way Automatic Communications System (TWACS) advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution, one of the Aclara-brand technologies of ESCO Technologies Inc.. The TWACS system employed a patented technology to transmit data from electric meters over power lines to enable utilities effectively manage customer data and reduce costs while providing superior customer service [3].
A study [4] reported that, Stearns was one of the rural co-op's in MN, who were able to reduce demand in 2013 between 1.8 and 2.8 percent using MyMeter — a web-based program that gives utility customers more detailed information about their energy use.

References:

[1] Stearns Electric Association, Company profile. URL: https://www.stearnselectric.org/about-us/company-profile/
[2] Stearns Electric Association AMR page. URL: https://www.stearnselectric.org/my-account/automatic-meter-reading/
[3] "Six co-ops sign agreements for an AMI solution", Metering.com, February 2008. URL: http://www.metering.com/six-co-ops-sign-agreements-for-an-ami-solution/
[4] Karen Uhlenhuth, "In Minnesota, ‘behavior’ programs show energy-saving results", Midwest Energy News, July 2014. URL: http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2014/07/23/in-minnesota-behavior-progra...