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San Antonio-based municipally owned utility CPS Energy will begin smart grid infrastructure upgrades with partners Silver Spring Networks and Landis+Gyr in December.

In the first phase of the project, CPS says smart grid networking technology will be installed across its service territory. Installation of individual meters for commercial and residential customers will follow in summer 2014, and the entire project will be implemented over the next five years.

According to CPS, Silicon Valley-based Silver Spring has already begun providing the standards-based networking platform, advanced metering infrastructure and distribution automation solutions across CPS' service territory.

The utility says the network will connect 700,000 E-350 FOCUS advanced meters provided by Switzerland-based Landis+Gyr. The completed system will facilitate wireless two-way communication between CPS Energy and its customers.

Landis+Gyr will also operate a direct load control program using its Virtual Peak Plan software and load control devices, CPS adds.

CPS reports that the infrastructure upgrades will allow for faster, more efficient restoration of power during outages; increase the accuracy of meter data and make information on energy consumption available to customers in 15-minute intervals; give customers access to their usage history; reduce operational costs; give the utility historic data for better forecasting and demand decisions; and create the framework for city-wide Wi-Fi and streetlight integration.

The combined value of the contracts is roughly $200 million, CPS notes.

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