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.