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Vendor Neutral

Fortnightly Magazine - June 2010

a utility field services company based in Monroe, La., completed its merger with Olameter Corp. , a utility service and technology firm based in Arlington, Tx. Terms of the agreement between the two private companies weren’t disclosed. AMS says field services and related technologies will remain within the AMS Utiliserv structure, with the 250 associated employees continuing their tenure with the company. Existing field service offerings include meter reading, meter installations, pole testing, underground locates and field collections. Olameter Corp., meanwhile, will continue providing services surrounding meter data management and presentment, billing, call center, workforce management, and advanced metering infrastructure monitoring and maintenance.

United States Infrastructure Corp. (USIC), a portfolio company of Kohlberg & Co. (Kohlberg), entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by OMERS Private Equity. USIC provides outsourced sub-surface utility locating services across 20 states on behalf of over 400 telecom, electric, gas, cable and water utilities, including all major national and regional utilities throughout the Midwest, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest. OMERS Private Equity manages one of Canada’s largest pension funds, and has over $4 billion of investments under management.

Badger Meter Inc. purchased Cox Instruments LLC of Scottsdale , Ariz., and its subsidiary companies Flow Dynamics Inc., and Exact Flow. The entities supply flow measurement instrumentation systems. Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed. The acquisition combines the companies into Cox Flow Measurement, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Badger Meter.The subsidiary will continue to be based in Scottsdale and the Cox management team will remain with the company.

Efficiency & Conservation

Honeywell entered into two separate, three-year contracts with Progress Energy to manage and deliver energy efficiency programs for residential customers in North and South Carolina. The Home Energy Improvement and Neighborhood Energy Saver programs will help customers save energy and money through: home energy assessments; education; and rebates for efficiency improvements. The programs target more than 1.4 million Progress Energy residential customers. Honeywell will provide training, marketing and customer service support to drive enrollment.

T&D and Smart Grid

Tropos Network’s GridCom architecture was selected as a core element of Glendale Water & Power’s (GWP) smart-grid initiative. GridCom is based upon Tropos’ wireless broadband mesh network system and will be used as the utility’s private distribution area network to deliver high-speed communications among the utility, utility applications and utility customers. Investments in GWP’s smart-grid initiative total $51 million, $20 million of which is being funded by the DOE under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Ac t. Glendale’s mayor, Ara Najarian, commented, “Glendale is honored to be the first city in the nation to receive funding from the $3.4 billion in grants the DOE announced last October for modernization of the nation’s power infrastructure.”

Hawaiian Electric Co. selected Siemens Energy to provide a smart-grid system to integrate automation of the distribution grid as part of the utility’s $5.3 million share of federal smart-grid stimulus funds. The East Oahu Transmission Project Phase 2 is expected to automate high-load distribution circuits feeding sections of eastern Oahu. Siemens says its system design and operations approach will minimize construction impacts and reduce outage times