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Growing through diversification: Montana Power finds gold mine in fiber-optic network

When a little old lady from Butte received a call from her stock broker last April, she nearly fainted with shock. "Mrs. Smith," the broker said, "Congratulations. You`re a millionaire."

Holding companies rule; top 10 sell 28% of U.S. Electricity

The top 10 investor-owned utility holding companies sold about 28 percent of the electricity sold by U.S. utilities in 1998 (See Table 8, "IOU holding companies-25 largest generators").

Utilities join e-billing bandwagon to save costs

Electronic commerce is gaining momentum in the utility business, with almost daily announcements of major companies launching online billing and other e-commerce initiatives.

Dynegy-Illinova deal signals re-integration

The continuing flurry of merger and acquisition activity has brought a variety of new participants into the traditional electric utility business. Much attention has been given to the pending acquisitions by foreign utility companies. Just as interesting, but less explored, is the movement of independent power producers (IPP) and integrated energy marketers downstream into the still regulated portions of the electric industry.

Staking claim to rural territories, IOUs challenge REC protections

In the late 1800s, barbed wires crisscrossing prairies and rangelands often led to territorial disputes among ranchers in rural areas. Today, wires continue to be the subject of territorial disputes in many of those same regions, but the focus is no longer on fence posts strung with barbed galvanized wires. Instead, heads turn upwards to poles and towers with aluminum-steel conductors stretching for miles across croplands and pastures, and investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and rural electric coop

Geospatial Data Through Cyberspace: The “Most Elegant Invention” Proves Valuable to Utilities

The Internet was one of the greatest spin-off products of the Cold War. If the Internet had been invented for the purposes we are using it today, instead of as a means of secure communications during times of war, it never would have been designed this way. However, the technology was well established before the most compelling civilian applications had been envisioned. None the less, this medium has developed into one of the 20th Century`s most elegant and useful inventions, especially for uti

Telecommunications may provide lower risk opportunity for electric utilities

With the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, many U.S. electric utilities are increasingly investing in the telecommunications industry.

Conference Focuses on Technologies for Customer Satisfaction

The DistribuTECH(TM) Conference has emerged into the utility industry`s leading symposium on utility automation. The Seventh Annual International Symposium, held in San Diego, Calif., in late January, continued the legacy of previous conferences by setting attendance and exhibitor records. This years conference centered around the theme, "Creating a Competitive, Customer-Driven Utility Company." The 4,000 attendees were provided with three days of valuable information on current business and tec

Automation Honors

Werner von Siemens, the late 19th century scientist, inventor and electrical engineer whose innovations helped shape modern industry, has been selected as a posthumous inductee into the Automation Hall of Fame. With his development of the pointer telegraph, Siemens helped to usher in a new era of communications. The most famous of Siemens` many inventions was the modern electric dynamo, which made possible the inexpensive generation of electricity.

Substation Design Winners Announced at IEEE

At the 1996 IEEE/PES Summer Meeting, the winners of Electric Light & Power`s 7th annual substation design contest were announced. Boston Edison`s Network Station 53 won first place in the engineering/operations category. Station 53 occupies a 12,074-square-foot site in the heart of the Boston financial district. The latest in engineering technology was utilized to guarantee reliability, maintain the highest service quality and provide capacity for future load growth. Station 53 is supplied by tw