Toni Pietrantoni joins VASS Solutions

April 17, 2018 – Toni Pietrantoni has joined VASS Solutions as a new Principal Consultant. His primary focus will be the implementation of smart grid solutions for VASS Solutions' Clients including leading the planning, procurement, and implementation of the Frankfort Plant Board AMI solution.


Toni brings over 20 years of industry experience as an industry and consulting employee. Toni has spent the last 8 years with Black & Veatch implementing smart grid programs at PPL Electric Utilities and CPS Energy.  While at Elster Solutions, Toni was technical project manager for AMI solution implementation at multiple customer clients including City of Tallahassee (COT), Wisconsin Rapids, DOMLEC, Saint Lucia and Progress Energy-Florida. 


Toni is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA) and is an Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) EMC Society Member.  Toni holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Campbell University in North Carolina. He resides in Raleigh, NC.

VASS Solutions chosen by Frankfort Electric and Water Plant Board to Help Develop AMI Business Case

January 18, 2017, Atlanta, GA: VASS Solutions has been selected by Frankfort Electric and Water Plant Board (FPB) to help develop an AMI business case.  FPB is proposing to implement an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution to increase operational efficiencies and improve customer satisfaction.   The AMI business case will illustrate the prudency of investing in this foundational smart grid infrastructure. 

VASS Solutions’ role and expertise include:

  • Supporting FPB’s strategic assessment of AMI and related technologies.
  • Identifying and valuing quantitative benefits to be realized by AMI.
  • Identifying qualitative benefits to be realized by AMI.
  • Determining the functional, technical and performance requirements required for AMI to deliver the identified AMI benefits.
  • Identifying the relevant types of AMI solutions that can deliver both the requirements and benefits.
  • Quantifying the total cost of ownership – both implementation and ongoing operational – of AMI.
  • Executing the business case model that values the payback and return on an AMI investment.
  • Developing the preliminary AMI implementation plan and identifying the potential risks and mitigations that may be experienced during implementation.

FPB provides electric, water and cable/telecom services to customers in the city of Frankfort and Franklin County, KY, and portions of Shelby and Woodford counties. The electric department serves approximately 21,400 electric customers, consisting of 17,000 residential, 4,000 commercial and 400 large power/industrial customers. The water department serves approximately 16,500 meters.

VASS Solutions chosen by SMECO to Provide Continuing Smart Grid Consulting Services

May 10, 2016, Atlanta, GA:  VASS Solutions has been selected by Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) to provide continuing smart grid consulting services and subject matter expertise.  VASS Solutions will facilitate SMECO’s selection of vendor partners for endpoint installation services and for an enterprise asset management solution.

“VASS Solutions is SMECO’s trusted smart grid advisor,” said Joe Trentacosta, SMECO’s Senior Vice President, Customer and Enterprise Services, and Chief Information Officer.  “VASS Solutions is helping SMECO achieve its goal of implementing an AMI solution that satisfies regulatory requirements while providing significant operational benefits to SMECO and its customer-members.”

VASS Solutions will support SMECO in its selection of an endpoint installation vendor to complete deployment of AMI across SMECO’s entire service territory.  VASS Solutions will also assist SMECO with the selection of an enterprise asset management system to complement existing operational systems such as work management, geographic information systems, and mobile workforce management.

VASS Solutions personnel have been providing smart grid expertise and program management support to SMECO since 2009.  Mark Michaels led the joint SMECO and consulting team in architecting and writing multiple Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) regulatory filings and served in an advisory capacity in support of SMECO’s preparation, response and testimony at the PSC hearings – culminating in 2013 with PSC approval to proceed with AMI implementation.  In 2010-11, Scott Stein provided consulting services for procurement of SMECO’s MDMS and Systems Integration partners, all a part of SMECO’s Smart Grid implementation. 

“We’re excited to continue working with our valued client, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative,” said Scott Stein, VASS Solutions President.  “As SMECO continues to implement its smart grid roadmap, VASS Solutions looks forward to helping SMECO realize significant benefits by facilitating the processes to select high-quality vendor partners.”            

VASS Solutions and Distributech 2016:  Take Aways and Trends

February 19, 2016 – Trending in the universe of smart grid evolution, according to VASS Solutions’ experts:  AMI Continues to Evolve; Prepay & IOU’s Growing; HAN Marketplace Less Active; Battery Storage Business Models Vary; The Grid Optimization Toolbox Growing.

Reporting after meeting with many customers and industry partners during a successful Distributech 2016, VASS Solutions’ Scott Stein, Jeff Evans and Mark Michaels share need-to-know take aways and trends. 

  • Change in the AMI world.  With Honeywell acquiring the Elster AMI solution and metering business and Aclara acquiring the GE metering business, the AMI landscape continues to evolve. 
    • VASS Solutions’ Take:  Watch for further change in AMI solutions throughout 2016.  Networks are now a backbone to the foreseeable “Internet of Things” vision.  Grid Optimization is translating AMI modules into grid edge sensors to drive situational awareness beyond metering.  The ability to translate AMI data into information is becoming a required offering.  No doubt evolution will continue in the year ahead.
  • Prepay and IOUs.  Georgia Power shared information about its successful prepay energy program launch, while NV Energy, Duke Power, and Consumers Energy previewed their 2016 program launches. 
    • VASS Solutions’ Take:  Long an accepted payment channel among Muni and Cooperative utilities, prepaid energy is gaining traction among Investor Owned Utilities.  Prepare for new program announcements and growth in existing prepaid programs among Investor-Owned Utilities.
  • Quieter in the HAN marketplace.  Home area networking has been a primary focus of past shows.  However, there seemed to be less buzz around HAN implementations this year.
    • VASS Solutions’ Take:  Watch for an increasing shift to stand-alone, price- and tariff-based demand response and energy efficiency programs
  • Battery storage business models.  Battery storage is becoming a high impact tool for deferring transmission capital projects, providing a factor of reliability to renewables, and balancing peak for both the utility and their consumers. 
    • VASS Solutions’ Take:  After speaking with several battery storage providers, it’s clear there are varying business models – utility marketed versus retail marketed, utility owned versus consumer owned, residential versus commercial customers, each with its own benefit and risk profile, and clearly providing a high level of choice for the utility and their customers.
  • Grid optimization.  The strive for IT on the grid has resulted in a plethora of new hardware products and software applications that will provide varying capabilities in information flow, analytics, and automation to further optimize both the distribution and transmission grid. 
    • VASS Solutions’ Take:  The consistent message: with Grid Optimization there is ‘’no one size fits all” approach. Circuit characteristics are unique, so optimization solutions need to vary.  Build your toolbox with good options, but move methodically through your system to avoid the potential of stranded assets.

VASS Solutions attending Distributech 2015

January 19, 2015 – The utility industry continues to seek opportunities to realize the benefits of the smart grid.  Smart grid vendor partners are continually evolving the capabilities of today’s smart grid solutions.  And Utilities are successfully implementing these technologies to achieve operational improvements and increases in customer satisfaction. 

Distributech, the utility industry’s largest annual T&D event, is a significant opportunity to learn about the latest technologies and about utility experiences.  VASS Solutions is attending Distributech 2015 in San Diego, California.  Please drop us an email at to schedule some time to meet with us.

VASS Solutions expanding practice

November 28, 2014 – Clients are seeking opportunities to achieve additional benefits from their existing smart grid implementations.  These Day 2 benefits build upon the foundational elements of Advanced Metering Infrastructure.  Clients can realize improvements in customer satisfaction and increases in operational efficiency. 

VASS Solutions is on the hunt for an innovative and experienced sales and executive consulting professional.  As Business Development and Consulting Executive, this individual will identify, close, and deliver on growth opportunities.  

Please visit our Careers page to learn more about this opportunity.

Jeff Evans Joins VASS Solutions

October 6, 2014 - Jeff Evans has joined VASS Solutions as a new Executive Consultant and Executive Vice President of Marketing. His primary focus will be continuing the implementation of smart grid solutions for VASS Solutions' Clients.

Jeff brings over 24 years of industry experience as a consultant and utility employee. Jeff has spent the last 8 years with Enspiria Solutions and Black & Veatch implementing smart grid programs at NV Energy, Pepco Holdings, and Alliant Energy. 

Previously, Jeff worked with ComEd and Exelon Energy Delivery for 15 years in Customer Service Operations and Information Technology. Jeff holds a BSME from Bradley University and an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He resides in Chicago with his wife and two sons.

Mark Michaels to Lead VASS Solutions’ Operations

April 2, 2014 – Mark Michaels has assumed the role of Executive Vice President Operations and Executive Consultant with VASS Solutions. Mark’s focus is ensuring the satisfaction of VASS Solutions’ Clients as they implement their smart grid solutions.

Mark brings over 32 years of industry experience as a consultant, vendor, and utility employee. Mark has spent the last 6 years with Enspiria Solutions and Black & Veatch implementing smart grid programs at CPS Energy, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Fort Collins Utilities, and NV Energy. 

Previously, Mark worked with Pacific Gas & Electric for 15 years in various engineering, operations, management and Project execution roles. Mark holds a BSME from the University of Santa Clara, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He resides in Seattle with his wife and three sons.

Smart Grid Visioning

A Smart Grid vision identifies the technologies, tools and processes of the future state utility that can appreciably increase customer engagement and satisfaction, enhance service reliability and quality, improve operational efficiencies, and facilitate greater energy efficiencies.  Learn how VASS Solutions can help you craft you Smart Grid Vision.

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