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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 provider of intelligent infrastructure technologies for water, gas and electric utilities and part of the Utility Solutions Group of ESCO Technologies Inc.

Aclara says that 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, S.D.; and Fannin County Electric Cooperative (FCEC) in Bonham, Texas, will install its advanced communications solutions.

The company notes that its power-line communications system operates on existing power lines without the need to add more communications infrastructure.

According to Aclara, BEC has committed to upgrading its system by replacing 75% of its existing TWACS meters with the latest Aclara technology. BEC will also upgrade its current advanced metering infrastructure (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 reports that its enhanced TWACS (eTWACS) solution will replace GEC's existing drive-by system and help provide some 16,000 customers with enhanced services and a more effective bill payment process. The company adds that the eTWACS system will also help reduce costs and streamline the utility's meter reading process.

During that same period, the company says HEC will use Aclara's power-line communications system to help give employees more accurate and reliable data.

Through 2018, UEC will implement eTWACS to help get more accurate and reliable meter readings as well as reduce outage times for its 19,000 customers, Aclara notes. The utility also plans to deploy 4,200 Aclara demand response units.

In addition, the company reports that OEC has chosen Aclara's power-line communications technology to support AMI deployment for its 3,000 members.

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


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