As the Maryland Public Service Commission reconsiders Baltimore Gas & Electric's revised smart meter proposal, the companies who stand to gain from the decision are waiting in the wings.
In testimony filed with the PSC on Monday, it said that BGE has finalized contracts with Accenture for systems integration and program support, Oracle for meter data management, and VSI for smart meter instillation services. The utility has chosen Silver Spring Networks as its AMI vendor, although a contract is not finalized.
The news was seen as a hit to Itron amongst some stock analysts. Itron's stock dipped 7.2 percent on Monday.
However, nothing is final, including, most notably, BGE's smart meter approval. While some testimony in the past few days has provided hints that BGE's revised project assuaged many of the PSC's concerns, such as customer engagement, there still seem to be some lingering doubts about whether the customer is being asked to take on too much of the financial risk associated with the project.
The DOE has extended BGE's deadline to August 16 to hold on to the $200 million in stimulus funds awarded for the project. However, if BGE does not get the green light, somebody will still come come out a winner. The DOE will decide on that date if it will "proceed with, modify or terminate BGE's project," according to a letter to the chairman of the Maryland PSC, meaning that the utility might not lose all of the funding depending on the tone of the PSC's ruling.
There is also the option that other projects -- and not just one -- would get some or all of the $200 million if BGE were rebuked by its PSC. Certainly National Grid, Long Island Power Authority and Northeast Energy, who lost out on the big stimulus grants, are watching closely.