NorthWestern Energy has awarded Avineon a GIS data clean-up and realignment services contract. Avineon will be responsible for realigning overhead and underground electric facilities as well as gas facilities and NorthWestern's specific landbase information to a state-wide cadastral landbase.

NorthWestern Energy, one of the largest providers of electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serves approximately 640,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. As part of the data manipulation project, Avineon will convert the electrical overhead facility model from a super-span type to a pole and structure span model. The company will also be responsible for capturing new GPS structures and populating GPS coordinates and pole numbers to the existing structures, creating and updating connectivity, establishing relationships between conductors and corresponding poles and structures, as well as generating a customer point of service associating the customer to its respective transformer, service pedestal or gas line. Avineon is also capturing NorthWestern Energy's daily backlogs, updating the realigned data, and providing updates to NorthWestern Energy within a two week period to reduce the overall GIS backlog.

"With hundreds of thousands of customers, we needed a company to provide a smooth data clean-up and realignment without disturbing the daily workings of our electricity and natural gas units," said Debbie Driscoll, project manager at NorthWestern Energy. "In evaluating GIS service organizations to carry out this task, we felt Avineon's services and support would be the best fit for the project."

In addition to facility realignment and network modifications, Avineon will merge additional attributions gathered in the field with existing pole data stored in NorthWestern Energy's GIS. Currently the data resides in the Intergraph G/Technology platform.

Gary Wilkison, senior vice president of Avineon's Commercial Systems division, stated, "Avineon's extensive background in utility GIS projects positions us well to carry out the GIS migration and realignment needs of NorthWestern Energy. Our staff of highly experienced technicians has the necessary industry and software knowledge needed to ensure that this project is a success."