How Much Does an MDMS Cost?

December 4, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Utilities, regulators, and others like to ask how much smart meter system components cost. It’s a bit like asking how much does a car cost, especially as you get into the IT side of things.  Are we buying a Toyota Corolla or a Mercedes sedan?

Cost is always a tough question and best answered for a specific utility for a specific project. Having said that, there is one public cost point that I know of for MDMS costs, which is the IESO MDMS implementation in Canada. IBM announced that their five-year contract was approximately $45 million CDN, about $40 million US. This covers 4.5 million meters (so about $9 per meter) and is full turn-key, so it includes hardware, software, implementation, and operations for five years. Importantly, and perhaps affecting the cost, the IESO is providing MDM services for the entire Province of Ontario, which has 93 distribution utilities. Also, the IESO had to be sure its system could handle the many millions of data transactions occurring with AMI systems and utility systems every day, including real-time transactions.

For smaller implementations, surprisingly, the cost probably is not that different on a per meter basis, though it probably bottoms out around 5K meters.

Anyone looking at this issue should be sure to contact MDMS providers directly, including eMeter of course 🙂

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