In US smart meter news, Aclara Technologies, a supplier of smart infrastructure technology to utilities, announced yesterday that its affiliate has committed to buying the electricity meters division of GE Energy Management's Grid Solutions subdivision.
The acquisition of GE Meters is expected to close by the end of Q4 2015.
Aclara will take over more than 300 employees along with GE Meters' global headquarters in Somersworth, New Hampshire, a satellite manufacturing facility in Chicago, Illinois and a centre of excellence in Bilbao, Spain.
As part of the buy-out, Aclara will also acquire GE Meters' intellectual property portfolio of active patents and patent applications.
Commenting on the significance of the deal, Allan Connolly, CEO and president of Aclara, said the acquisition significantly enhances "Aclara's offering for electric utilities across North America and around the globe".
While Brian Urbanek, managing director of Sun Capital, Aclara's private equity owner, said the buy-out boosts the company's energy management offering.
Mr Urbanek said: "Aclara will greatly benefit from GE Meters' deep technology foundation and its seasoned engineering group.
"This expertise will support Aclara's focus on addressing key technology trends including AMI integration, cyber security and standards, design for cost and field upgradability, all of which are important aspects of a smart infrastructure environment."
GE Meters - smart meters
GE Meters product range includes utility revenue-grade meters including the kV2c range that feature electronic demand and time of use for residential, commercial and industrial deployments.
Ge also offers GE offers 3 singlephase electronic meter options: the I-210, the I-210+ and the I-210+c.
Aclara's utility services
Meanwhile, Aclara has made headway into the end-to-end utility market following the launch of new services since 2014.
The company first brought Aclara Platinum Services to market - an end-to-end service for water utilities wanting to deploy an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).
And in November 2014, Aclara began selling its data management system - 'Intelligent Infrastructure: Data, Efficiency, Analytics and Services' or iiDEAS - aimed at electric, water and gas utilities.
The open iiDEAS platform provides a central repository to aggregate data from meter-reading networks, sensors, back-office systems, geospatial information systems and weather feeds.