IT BITS

Six companies form fiber-optic venture

American Electric Power, GPU and Allegheny Energy will own 90 percent of the venture, America’s Fiber Network. FirstEnergy will hold the rest with CFW Communications and R&B Communications. The venture will link small communities to cities that have high-speed Internet access and other telecom services. It will stretch more than 7,000 miles, from New York City to Chicago, and from Rochester, N.Y., to Johnson City, Tenn.

Consortium plans e-procurement exchange

Fifteen energy companies-American Electric Power, Cinergy, Consolidated Edison, Duke Energy, Edison International, Entergy, FirstEnergy Corp., FPL Group, PG&E Corp., Public Service Enterprise Group, Reliant Energy, Sempra Energy, Southern Co., TXU and Unicom-plan to launch an Internet marketplace for the purchase of goods and services between the energy industry and its suppliers this year. The for-profit exchange will be open for use by any company in the energy/utility industry. The companies in the consortium are responsible for about 50 percent of the estimated $70 billion a year U.S. utilities spend on non-fuel purchases.

Navigant Consulting, ESRI and Miner & Miner partner

Navigant Consulting Inc., ESRI and Miner & Miner are forming a strategic alliance to increase geographic information systems (GIS) capabilities within the utility industry. ESRI is the developer of ArcInfo 8 and ArcFM, GIS software packages. Miner & Miner develops applications that work with ESRI software and tools for work design, outage management and system interfaces. Navigant Consulting provides implementation and integration consulting for business solutions that integrate GIS, work management and inventory systems.

HTE unveils Internet gateway

HTE Inc., an industry enterprise-wide software solutions provider serving public sector organizations and utilities, announced it has established the architecture for the Internet gateway that will link HTE’s public sector software applications to the Internet. Branded Click2Gov, the gateway will enable the more than 1,600 cities, counties and other municipalities served by HTE to offer their citizens Internet access to government services. The Click2Gov gateway is the first step in providing interactive web access to services such as utilities, building permits, licensing (business, hunting, fishing, etc.), taxes, parks and recreation (classes and facilities) and other services.

GDT releases first Smallworld Data Model

Geographic Data Technology Inc., developer of map databases, announced the alpha release of its Smallworld Data Model. The alpha model contains a subset of objects derived from GDT’s Dynamap/ Transportation product. It provides a reference and discussion model and will allow GDT to plan for additional functionality and object behavior. Current plans call for the release of a beta model in summer 2000 along with a nationwide landbase using that model. The first release of data using the production model is expected early in 2001. GDT plans to produce Smallworld landbase geographies by state and nationwide to serve the needs of individual departments as well as enterprise-wide GIS systems. Participating in the alpha testing are Wisconsin Gas/Fieldtech, Public Service Company of Colorado and Utilicorp. Companies who wish to participate in the beta-testing program should call 800-331-7881, ext. 1312.

Avista Corp. forms new venture

Avista Corp. announced the formation of Avista Ventures, a new affiliate company that will focus on aligning investment and acquisition activities in the areas of energy, information and technology. Avista Ventures has completed an initial investment in Metering Technology Corp, a California-based company that develops and manufactures intelligent, low-cost digital gas and electric meters with smart-card payment systems and two-way network communications capabilities.

CP&L launches statusgo.com

Carolina Power & Light launched statusgo. com, a division of the company’s IT Services Department. statusgo.com offers businesses and organizations specialized software and IT capabilities, which allows them to perform a variety of operational tasks in a more cost effective and efficient manner. These tasks include: processing maintenance work orders; tracking and ordering parts; keeping up with warranties; and making sure workers adhere to regulations and are qualified for the maintenance tasks they are assigned.

PJM Interconnection receives Smithsonian award

PJM Interconnection LLC’s Customer Choice Project became part of the Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in early April when the 2000 Information Technology Innovation Collection was formally presented to the Institution. PJM Interconnection LLC’s work is part of a collection that includes over 440 of the year’s most innovative applications of technology from 38 states and 21 countries.

SDG&E selects Centricity

San Diego Gas and Electric, subsidiary of Sempra Energy, will use CES International as its prime contractor to support its personnel in the deployment of the CES International Centricity operations resource management system. The project calls for an InterSys-based integration to SDG&E’s Enghouse GIS, ACS SCADA, and the Customer One CIS application. In addition, CES International will deploy Centricity with integration to SDG&E’s mobile work-force management solution, Advantex, provided by CES partner Mobile Data Solutions Inc.

ABB & Itron offer wireless meter reading

ABB Electricity Metering announced the Itron/UTS (Utility Translation Systems) multi-vendor data collection system (MV-90) will now support ABB’s ALPHA STARS communications interface. Customers using MV-90 will be able to read ABB’s ALPHA Plus meters over American Mobile Satellite Corp.’s ARDIS network. ABB’s ALPHA STARS communications interface and American Mobile’s ARDIS network expand the public network capability for automatic meter reading. The largest nationwide public data network in the United States, ARDIS offers national coverage, free of roaming charges, through a dedicated two-way network.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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