The second session we attended today was “Transforming Energy Networks and Enabling Applications with OpenWay Riva,” which was hosted by Curt Kirkeby from Avista.

Avista provides energy services and electricity to 375,000 customers and natural gas to 335,000 customers across eastern Washington, northern Idaho, and parts of southern and eastern Oregon. This past May, Avista selected Itron’s OpenWay Riva IoT solution to modernize its electric and gas network. By utilizing OpenWay Riva, Avista is improving its operational efficiencies, enhancing reliability, reducing energy losses, and enhancing customer service and engagement.

The OpenWay Riva technology will allow Avista to run applications in devices at the edge of the network to monitor and determine items such as revenue assurance and theft detection; high impedance; outage detection and analysis; transformer load management; demand response; and management of distributed generation at the sub-transformer level. Describing this technology upgrade, Curt Kirkeby said, “Instead of an all or nothing scenario, we have now have the opportunity to selectively put people on the system, something which I refer to as ‘resiliency mode.’ This technology is a game changer and the amount of value that it provides customers is unprecedented.”

Going forward, utilities will have the opportunity to selectively upgrade. You can now be more selective about replacing a few meters here and there, and not needing to replace all of them. “As we look ahead, we have locations where we will need to do something, so this will be a cost-effective solution,” said Kirkeby.

Partnering with Itron and four other companies, Kirkeby discussed their newest Smart City initiative, Urbanova, a smart city living lab in Spokane, Washington. The goal of Urbanova is to use big data to gain insights and equip residents with the tools to utilize it themselves. Located in the University District of Spokane, this initiative will enable healthier citizens, safer neighborhoods, smarter infrastructure, a more sustainable environment and a stronger economy. In turn, this will make Spokane “a city where people want to be, want to live and want to work,” according to Kirkeby.

Thanks for following our blog! We’ll be back with another post tomorrow featuring an update from one of our big picture sessions, “Protecting Utilities from the Risk of New Technologies with Outcome-Based Solutions.”

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