Study says size does matter: A recent study by R.J. Rudden Associates, which looked at the T&D operations of more than 100 utilities in 1996 and 2002, concluded that size does matter, but good management matters more. The author of “T&D Economies of Scale and the Mysteriously Fitted Curve,” Leonard Hyman, observed that “the most inefficient companies were among the smallest, and the largest companies tend to be efficient. But, far more efficient companies were of small to medium size. In other words, scale may help, but good management, or sheer luck, helps even more.”

Itron, SmartSynch team: Itron has reached an agreement with Madison Gas & Electric for the Wisconsin-based utility to purchase 1,200 solid-state electricity meters equipped with SmartSynch’s SmartMeter technology. The utility recently completed automation of nearly 250,000 residential electric and gas meters using Itron automatic meter reading technology. (Madison Gas & Electric purchased Elster A3 meters to complete its full automation.)

New Brunswick implements StakeOut: MiniMax Corp. announced that New Brunswick Power will implement StakeOut, the company’s field design system. New Brunswick Power plans to use StakeOut to improve communication between their five regional offices through automation.

Cobb to deploy Intergraph: Cobb Electric Membership Corporation (Cobb EMC) has purchased Intergraph’s InService suite for outage and mobile workforce management. Cobb EMC, located in Marietta, Ga., will use InService to replace its manual method of locating outages and dispatching crews.

Dynegy chooses OM: Dynegy has selected OM to provide systems and operations solutions for Dynegy’s entry as an active participant into the Midwest ISO market. OM will provide Dynegy with POMAX Administrator, which offers trading, contract management, scheduling, settlement and billing, dispatch instruction management and market interface.

Chicago Ridge to go demand response: Electric City has entered into an agreement with Chicago Ridge to participate in the development of a 50 MW power curtailment system for Commonwealth Edison.

Southern increases commitment: Southern Company recently extended its Power of Flight bird habit conservation partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for another four years. Also, the company announced a separate partnership with the Foundation to restore the South’s signature longleaf pine ecosystem to conserve biological diversity and sequester carbon. Conservation efforts will focus on areas within the service territories of Southern Company’s five operating companies: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric.

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T&D Briefs

Hubbell Power Systems announces expansion

Hubbell Power Systems announced the signing of a definitive agreement to complete an asset purchase of the pole line hardware business currently owned by Cooper Power Systems. Such purchase is scheduled to be completed at the end of a sixty-day period commencing with the date of this announcement (Sept. 19). This purchase includes the acquisition of certain assets currently located at the Cooper Power Systems facility in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Hubbell Power Systems acknowledged that the assets included in this purchase will be relocated and integrated into their existing pole line hardware operations located in Centralia, Missouri. This relocation of assets is anticipated to be completed by the end of the first quarter 2003.

Itron signs agreement with Tampa Electric

Itron Inc. announced that it has reached an agreement with Tampa Electric Company (TEC) to provide the investor-owned utility with software to optimize the design of its distribution system assets. Itron will also implement the software, incorporating TEC distribution design standards and construction practices, and interfacing it with TEC’s work management and GIS systems. TEC serves roughly 600,000 customers over 2,000 square miles in central Florida. Under the terms of the agreement, TEC will utilize Itron’s LD-PRO engineering design software to efficiently design distribution assets in its service territory. TEC will begin with designs for the underground distribution system and progress to overhead applications in time. As part of the effort, TEC and Itron developed a five-year master consulting agreement, under which Itron will provide a number of consulting services.