In another deal for Itron this week, the metering giant will supply one network for two utilities in North Dakota to share.

Under the agreement, Montana-Dakota Utilities Company (MDU), a provider of electric and natural gas service and the water department of the City of Bismarck will jointly manage the Itron network.

The public-private partnership is the first instance in which two utilities are cooperating to share a communications network where a city’s entire meter population is being managed.

Bismarck will use Itron’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution along with Itron Analytics as a service and Itron Services to improve operational efficiencies and streamline meter reading.

The Itron solution being installed in Bismarck includes 21,000 water communication modules and associated collection technologies.

Help with meter readings

In addition, Bismarck entered into an agreement with MDU in which MDU will provide water meter readings to Bismarck using its existing Itron fixed network.

The project will not impact MDU customer billing, but rather will provide a cost-effective solution for both utilities through a shared network. Installation of the solution will begin in late summer and is expected to be completed within 18 months.

Paula Billingham, vice president of sales, marketing and delivery for Water North America at Itron, said: “In a time where cities and utilities have begun focusing on creating smarter cities of the future that share networks and information, it is exciting to see two progressive utilities collaborate to share infrastructure to better manage water and energy resources.

“This deployment is a great example for other water, electric and gas utilities with overlapping territories. Cooperation is possible and can benefit both utilities and the communities they serve.”