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Open Access Technology International Inc. (OATI), a provider of software solutions to the North American energy industry, and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) have entered into a strategic alliance to deliver demand-side software-as-a-service solutions that the companies say will help rural utilities administer the complexities of their power management operations.

According to the companies, these demand-side management tools from OATI will provide the NRTC's generation and transmission (G&T) and distribution cooperative members with smart grid solutions that go beyond reliability improvements by closing the gap between retail and bulk power operations.

OATI says its webDistribute tool is for load control and conservation voltage reduction and can be used to monitor, control, schedule and manage the entire demand response (DR) lifecycle - from program enrollment to DR event management to billing and settlements. The company notes that webDistribute also provides the assessment tools necessary to make decisions about when and how to engage DR assets.

According to OATI, webDistribute is complemented by its webSmartView, a customer-engagement portal for end consumers. The company says webSmartView is a Web-based and smartphone-enabled engagement application that allows end-use consumers to view their energy usage information, manage their energy consumption and engage in demand-side management programs.

"We are very excited to offer NRTC's members these next-generation solutions, which will allow G&Ts and their member co-ops to meet both individual and group demand response needs," says Edward Drew, vice president of utility solutions at the NRTC. "This multi-entity functionality will enable rural utilities to achieve economies of scale that no individual member could realize on their own."


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