Spokane Journal of Business

Itron, Maine utility ink new contract

Infrastructure to help lay smart grid groundwork

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Liberty Lake-based Itron Inc. has secured a contract with Bangor, Maine-based electric utility Versant Power to upgrade the utility’s metering infrastructure and network.

In a Jan. 19 press release, Itron reported the work will lay the foundations of a smart-grid program for Versant, which serves about 160,000 customers in northern and eastern Maine.

Itron senior public relations manager Alison Mallahan says terms of the contract weren’t disclosed as part of the agreement.

Versant is adopting Itron’s industrial internet of things network starting this year, the release states. The industrial internet of things refers to interconnected sensors and other devices that are networked together with industrial computer applications.

Versant also will install more than 160,000 distributed intelligence-enabled meters, beginning in 2022. Distributed intelligence combines analytics and applications that run within the meter to provide nearly real-time information. 

Mallahan says Itron’s advanced metering infrastructure will improve Versant’s data management, grid performance, and customer service.

“With embedded distributed intelligence in our smart meters, utilities are equipped to make decisions in real time at the edge of the network to manage rapidly changing conditions,” Mallahan says. “For example, Versant Power will be equipped to better manage power outages.”

John Marcolini, senior vice president of networked solutions at Itron, says the technology Versant is adopting will help the utility company more quickly understand and respond to the needs of its customers.

“With our globally proven, multipurpose platform and smart meters, Versant Power will be able to lay the groundwork for the utility’s smart grid program and deliver more efficient, reliable and resilient services,” Marcolini says.

As previously reported by the Journal, Itron signed a contract in December with East Coast utility National Grid to develop custom software for the utility. National Grid does business in York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

Headquartered at 2111 N. Molter, Itron had 474 employees in Spokane County, as of Nov. 1.

At the close of business Monday, Itron’s stock was trading at $97.39 a share, below its 52-week high of $108.89 a share and well above its 52-week low of $40.48 a share.

Virginia Thomas
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Reporter Virginia Thomas has worked at the Journal since 2017 and covers the banking and finance industries. As a reporter, she loves learning about Spokane's many growing industries. She enjoys travelling with her husband, snuggling with her cats, and cross stitching.

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