Itron may snag the elusive Duke Energy deal
By Jesse Berst
We've known since last fall that Echelon's deal with Duke Energy had fallen through.Echelon's powerline carrier approach didn't work out in the pilots, apparently, and Duke cancelled its order for Echelon collectors. (See below for an update from Echelon.)
What we haven't known is who will take Echelon's place. Now the rumor mill says it might be Itron, based on a comment made by Itron CEO LeRoy Nosbaum during a recent analyst call.
In the short term, no big deal, since most of Duke's smart metering efforts are bogged down by regulatory delays of one kind or another. In the long term, very big deal. Duke has long been an industry thought leader, even before its merger with Progress made it the largest utility in the U.S. A victory at Duke would go a long way to re-establishing Itron's luster as a market leader.
We suspect that Itron's partnership with Cisco is helping the cause, since Duke has standardized on Cisco Connected Grid to upgrade its substations.