Southern Communications Services, Inc., which recently entered the wireless communications market, has begun to market products and services under the name of its parent, Southern Company. Southern also is parent to Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power, and Savannah Electric.
Gulf Power, meanwhile, signed a contract with Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. for two-way energy management applications. Some 40,000 homes will be fitted with the interactive systems over eight years. The system links customers via a VHF paging interface; a telephone line connects back to the utility. The system allows customers to program appliances to respond to various pricing tiers. Scientific-Atlanta recently patented this technology, which can compute electric bills on demand. The technology will be embedded in the MainGateÔ system.
The New York Power Authority signed a $1.5 million contract with SCT Utility Systems for computer software, primarily for customer services. The software will be used to manage and bill large power users.
The Power Authority also has rolled out an electric-powered, emission-free school bus. The $180,000 bus was funded by the Authority and the city Department of Environmental Protection and will be used by New York City Board of Education. The vehicle's 230 horsepower motor runs on 112 12-volt absorbed electrolyte batteries. Top speed is 55 miles per hour; range is 80 miles.
Research into the development of advanced batteries for electric cars was given a $106 million boost by five noteworthy backers. Making up the United States Advanced Battery Consortium, representatives of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the Big Three U.S. automakers, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) signed "Phase II" of a research pact. Now targeted are reducing costs of "mid-term" batteries and coming up with long-term batteries. EPRI, alone, has researched electric transportation for nearly 20 years.
A $35 million contract was awarded in Sidi Krir, in the Arab Republic of Egypt to bring on line a two-unit, 320 megawatt (Mw) power plant. Stone & Webster Canada Ltd. will lead the group building the gas/residual oil-fired generating station. It is Stone and Webster's first power project in Egypt; its services are valued at $11 million.
A 248 Mw gas/oil combined cycle generating plant will be built for Clark Public Utilities by Cogentrix Energy, Inc.
Sierra Pacific Power Co. started up its $220 million, 107 Mw "clean coal" combined cycle Pinon Pine Power Project. The project's gas turbine is the first advanced model 6FA turbine to be made by General Electric. Half of the power plant was funded by the DOE. The DOE also will put $70 million toward the plant's first four years of operation and maintenance, because of its environmental and energy efficiencies. t
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