Many electric cooperatives are currently in the process of considering or moving forward with advanced metering infrastructure projects. AMI projects are complex and require consideration not only of purchase and installation issues, but also of maintenance, warranties, and long-term performance requirements. Also, because key components of the equipment and software required often come from different vendors, sophisticated project management is required to coordinate and ensure completion of required integration and interfaces. To ensure that all parties’ objectives are met, a thorough and balanced AMI agreement should be developed that documents project requirements and expectations.
While this process may appear more time consuming and expensive than is necessary, a cooperative that relies on form documents or purchase orders may find that it has little protection in such areas as performance requirements and guarantees, warranties, and indemnity against patent infringement claims. Some of the key areas that the AMI agreement should address are:
- pricing and credit support
- testing and acceptance
- product warranties
- performance specifications and system warranties
- intellectual property indemnity
This topic is explored in more detail in the recently published article “Navigating the Nitty-Gritty Details of AMI Initiatives,” by Roland Hall.