Founded in 1843, Tacoma Power is the public-owned utility that serves the city of Tacoma, Washington, U.S. In addition to Tacoma's downtown financial center and the large industrial facilities on the Tacoma Tideflats, Tacoma Power also serves the Fredrickson area of Pierce County, a fast-growing industrial complex. It has some of the lowest commercial industrial electricity rates in the United States.

In 1995, Tacoma Power evaluated AMR and data-management software, including the industry standard MV-90, and chose to purchase the Stark RT program.

Now, in 2001, Tacoma Power is bringing in 450 channels of 5-min data every 24 hours (approximately 4 million intervals per month), from 30 distribution substations in the service area. The utility is adding additional stations every month and is planning to have all the substations online by the end of this year.

Tacoma Power is working in partnership with Siemens and Stark North America, Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., to bring the meter data back to Stark RT via its system-wide telecommunications network. This hybrid fiber-optic/coaxial network is in the process of being installed and eventually will link all 143,000 customers and substations.

In addition to the substations, Tacoma Power is using Stark RT exclusively for billing its largest industrial customers as well as several smaller commercial accounts. Currently, between US$70 million and US$80 million in revenue per year is being billed exclusively with Stark, and this number is expected to grow over the next few years.
Circle 201 on Reader Service Card