Spokane Journal of Business

Itron inks contracts far afield

Company takes on work for Mississippi, New Zealand utilities

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Liberty Lake-based Itron Inc. says it has signed contracts for new projects with two utilities, Gulfport, Miss.-based Mississippi Power, and New Zealand-based Network Waitaki Ltd.

Although Itron declined to disclose the value of either contract, the company’s senior public relations manager, Alison Mallahan says both contracts will aid the utilities in improving service to their electrical customers.

The agreement with Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Co., involves installation and management of Itron’s Gen5 IPv6 network platform.

Mallahan says the platform, which would connect about 193,000 advanced metering devices, will help Mississippi Power improve operational efficiencies and increase grid reliability for its customers.

“Earlier this year, Itron acquired Mississippi Power’s former networking platform, Silver Spring Networks,” she says. “We’ve moved the Silver Spring technology under the Itron brand, so this is still smart grid, smart metering technology, just upgraded to include a longer-term plan for networking.”

As part of the contract, Mallahan says Itron also will deliver back-office capabilities to Mississippi Power through a five-year software-as-a-service model to aid in the utility’s operational and customer engagement efforts. The software supports meter reading and outage detection, she says.

Mallahan says installation of the technology is expected to start later this year and will take 24 months to complete.

According to its website, Mississippi Power has 1,253 employees and serves customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties.

The second agreement Itron signed this month is a contract with NWL in New Zealand to implement its Distribution Transformer Monitoring technology.

Providing power predominantly to rural areas, NWL serves nearly 13,000 customers in New Zealand and has 1,250 miles of power lines. 

Mallahan says the technology will provide information about the operational state of low-voltage distribution transformers.

“Low-voltage transformers can become overloaded as they age, and new energy sources come online,” she says. “This system will help NWL to have more visibility into how those transformers are being used, and how well they’re functioning.”

Mallahan says Itron doesn’t yet have a starting date or schedule for the New Zealand project.

Itron describes itself as a technology and services company dedicated to the resourceful use of energy and water, with thousands of employees who support a network of 8,000 customers in more than 100 countries.

LeAnn Bjerken
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Reporter LeAnn Bjerken covers health care at the Journal of Business. A Minnesota native and cat lover, she enjoys beachside vacations and writing poetry. LeAnn has worked for the Journal since 2015.

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