Partnerships, Mergers and Acquisitions
Itron Inc. and UK Data Collection Services Ltd. (UKDCS) announced recently the formation of a jointly owned company to provide meter data collection services. The joint venture will provide operational services in the areas of metering and energy data collection, processing, aggregation, load research, load profiling, billing and settlement in North America. The data acquisition services will be marketed to utility distribution companies, energy service providers, retail power marketers and commercial and industrial customers with multiple metering sites. Itron and UKDCS each hold a 50 percent equity interest in the joint venture. The headquarters will be in Raleigh, N.C. with regional centers opened across the country as required.
Whisper Communications has signed a memorandum of understanding with their alliance partner Schlumberger and Illinova Corp. for the deployment of a two-way automated meter reading system covering more than 1.1 million meters. The two-way customer communications system combines Whisper`s True2Way AMR components and Schlumberger`s MAPS-based central meter reading system for residential, commercial and industrial electric and natural gas customers in Illinois. The system will be installed over a 15,000 square mile area and will serve approximately 1.1 million meter points in Illinois Power`s (IP) service territory. The installation is expected to be completed over a two-year period. In the agreement, Whisper Communications` components will be integrated with Schlumberger system components and software systems. Schlumberger will manage the deployment, maintain and operate the system for the duration of the lease as well as create and utilize an information model for effective energy management, meter reading, billing and other customer driven services.
In Kuala Lumpur, the Power Transmission and Distribution Group (EV) of Siemens AG, Berlin and Munich, has signed a cooperation agreement with the Malaysian power systems company Zanwa Sdn. Bhd. concerning power transformers and a new manufacturing plant yet to be built. The Siemens subsidiary Koncar Power Transformers Ltd., Zegreb (Croatia), is a cosignatory to the contract and will be responsible primarily for technical assistance. Zenwa has been marketing and installing power systems for the last ten years, mainly for the Malaysian supply utility Tenaga Nasional Bhd. Components have largely been purchased from other vendors. In the future, Zanwa intends to manufacture transformers in the class up to 275 kV for the Malaysian Market in its own plant.
Under subcontract to Geographic Information Technology, GeoData Solutions Inc. is providing data modeling and migration assistance to GPU Energy, an electric utility holding company based in Reading, Pa. GeoData Solutions will be working closely with GPU`s internal development team to convert the company`s legacy CableCad-based GFIS system into Smallworld GIS. The translation project will entail merging different data models of GPU`s three operating companies, Jersey Central Power & Light, Metropolitan Edison Co. and Pennsylvania Electric Co., into a new Smallworld data model.