Bay of Plenty power generator and retailer Trustpower's smart metering rollout has hit a bump. It will no longer be working with Mighty River Power's advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) subsidiary Metrix to deploy meters to its customers.
"While this will delay Trustpower's advanced metering deployment timetable, Trustpower has made significant progress with its own system development," chairman Bruce Harker told shareholders at this month's AGM.
"There is now an opportunity to reconsider its approach to advanced meter deployment and metering services."
Trustpower said Metrix had terminated the agreement, reached last June.
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Chief executive Vince Hawksworth said Metrix had signed up to roll out the advanced meters to its customers, as well as provide a national service of meter readings.
"We did a pilot with them earlier this year and unfortunately that didn't go quite as well as we hoped," he said. "A month ago they came to the conclusion they weren't able to deliver on our expectations and decided to exit the contract. Their capability wasn't quite what they thought or led us to believe. Our position is that while it's disappointing, we are keen to get this up and running, and we'd rather they exit now rather than later."
Mr Hawksworth said the decision would not affect customers, but Trustpower would have to come up with a different approach. The preferred option was still to buy in the services rather than spend money on owning the meters, he said.
Chris O'Hara, Trustpower's general manager of commercial operations, said a wide range of other tender options was available, and that by a number of alternative AMI vendors had already approached the company.
The company had invested in software to support the rollout and would now focus on making sure it was compatible with a wide range of meter owners to ensure smart metering could be maintained when getting customers from other retailers, he said.
"A key thing for us is deploying our own internal operational model to allow us to interact with a range of meter owners to allow us to receive their data."