Six Electric Cooperatives Move Forward With Aclara's Power-Line Communications

Mar 04, 2014, 10:00 ET from Aclara Technologies LLC

ST. LOUIS, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Six electric cooperatives in Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Texas have announced plans to deploy power-line communications systems from Aclara Technologies LLC, a leading provider of intelligent infrastructure technologies for water, gas and electric utilities and part of the Utility Solutions Group of ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ESE).

Glades Electric Cooperative (GEC) in Moore Haven, Fla., Barry Electric Cooperative (BEC) in Cassville, Mo., Howard Electric Cooperative (HEC) in Fayette, Mo., United Electric Cooperative (UEC) in DuBois, Pa., Oahe Electric Cooperative (OEC) in Blunt, SD., and Fannin County Electric Cooperative (FCEC) in Bonham, Texas, will install Aclara's advanced communications solutions to better serve more than 60,000 customers across five states.

Aclara's power-line communications achieves the highest coverage in the industry because it operates on existing power lines, without adding additional communications infrastructure. Data provided by Aclara's advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution allows utilities to better understand patterns of usage and identify programs to reduce system peaks and costs. Meters on Aclara's power-line communications system can be connected automatically, eliminating service calls.

"Our advanced technology will give utilities more flexibility in instituting programs to help their customers save money," said Nancy Rich, senior vice president of sales and account management at Aclara. "One way to reduce costs is by tracking energy diversion and correcting theft. Utilities can establish a metrics-based service quality improvement program and empower customers by instituting a pre-pay system that lets them determine how their electricity is delivered."

BEC has committed to upgrading its system by replacing 75 percent of its existing TWACS® meters with the latest Aclara technology. Barry will also upgrade its current AMI substation hardware to enable its AMI system to support more than 9,600 members and its growing pre-pay program.

Over the next 18 months, Aclara's enhanced TWACS (eTWACS™) solution will replace GEC's existing drive-by system and provide some 16,000 customers with enhanced services and a more effective bill payment process. The eTWACS system will also reduce costs and streamline the utility's meter reading process.

During that same period, HEC will use Aclara's power-line communications system to give its employees more accurate and reliable data to better manage the operation and deliver safe, reliable power to its 3,400 customers. HEC is a member of the Central Electric Power Cooperative, an eight-member alliance of distribution cooperatives partnering with Aclara to support Callaway Electric Cooperative in Fulton, Mo., and Co-Mo Electric Cooperative in Tipton, Mo., which already use Aclara power-line systems.

Through 2018, UEC, a member of the Allegheny Electric Cooperative (AEC) generation and transmission association, will implement eTWACS to get more accurate and reliable meter reads as well as reduce outage times for its 19,000 customers. It also plans to put in 4,200 Aclara Demand Response Units. The five cooperatives belonging to AEC, which is based in Harrisburg, Pa., currently have more than 25,000 Aclara load-management devices deployed.

Aclara's history of successful implementations in the Central South Dakota region convinced OEC to select its power-line communications technology to support AMI deployment for its approximate 3,000 members.

Finally, FCEC will replace its legacy non-Aclara AMI system beginning March 2014, with the eTWACS AMI system to service more than 1,800 miles of distribution lines with approximately 10,250 connected meters.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release regarding the specific quantities and timing of the above described Aclara customer deployments are "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the federal securities laws. Investors are cautioned that such statements are only predictions and speak only as of the date of this release, and Aclara undertakes no duty to update. Aclara's  actual results in the future may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties that exist in Aclara's  operations and business environment, including without limitation, customer contract modifications, changes in customer demands, financial constraints impacting customers, technical difficulties, defaults by customers and termination for convenience of customer contracts.

About Aclara
Aclara® represents the industry's leading Intelligent Infrastructure technologies for providing device networking, data-value management, and customer communications to water, gas, and electric utilities globally. Over 500 utilities in nine countries rely on proven Aclara solutions to connect with their customers. Aclara Technologies LLC is part of the Utility Solutions Group of ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ESE), St. Louis. Create Your Intelligent Infrastructure™ Follow us on Twitter @AclaraSolutions.

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SOURCE Aclara Technologies LLC