Avista, a  provider of energy services and electricity to 375,000 customers and natural gas to 335,000 customers in eastern Washington, northern Idaho, and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, has picked Itron to modernize its electric and gas network in Washington state and lay the foundation for smart city applications.

Avista will deploy Itron’s OpenWay Riva IoT solution, which delivers true interoperability and distributed intelligence over an Itron and Cisco network, said Itron in a prepared statement. The utility plans to use the next-generation solution to improve electric and gas operational efficiencies, enhance reliability, reduce energy losses, and enhance customer service and engagement.

Itron said its OpenWay Riva solution is the only utility and smart cities IoT solution available that delivers both Adaptive Communications Technology and distributed intelligence to meters, grid devices and sensors at the edge of the network.

The platform’s computing power will enable utilities like Avista to run multiple applications in edge devices and make near real-time decisions in the field, instead of solely collecting data for billing and back office analysis. In addition to smart metering, the utility can push various applications to edge devices, including revenue assurance and theft detection; high impedance detection and other safety diagnostics; outage detection and analysis; transformer load management; demand response; and management of distributed generation at the sub-transformer level.

 The new solution will also enable Avista to provide more timely information to its customers so they can better manage their energy usage. Additionally, with open standards, the IoT multipurpose network can be the foundation to run smart city applications, such as smart street lighting or electric vehicle charging.

“The OpenWay Riva solution features entirely new capabilities in communications and distributed intelligence, and has the power to transform utility operations, delivering new value in distribution system efficiency, reliability and safety,” said Mark de Vere White, president of Itron’s Electricity business line.

“Avista continually invests in modernizing our electric grid, gas network and other systems as we plan for the utility of the future to support technologies of tomorrow. We selected Itron for our multi-year Advanced Metering project because its OpenWay Riva solution can deliver the capabilities we need today and provide the flexibility and foundation for additional applications in the future to meet the evolving expectations and needs of our customers,” said Heather Rosentrater, Avista vice president of Energy Delivery.

Itron is a technology and services company which provides solutions that measure, manage and analyze energy and water.