Electricity North West has outsourced its IT to Indian offshorer Wipro Technologies in a five-year deal.

The utility firm owns, operates and maintains the electricity distribution network throughout the North West of England.

Wipro will set-up new data centres and configure "high availability infrastructure" for the electricity firm's operations.

Electricity North West will move to a more virtualised infrastructure, and upgrade key business applications.

Wipro will provide the fully managed IT services using remote infrastructure management systems, based on the ITIL v3 service integration model.

The value of the deal has not been disclosed. The contract comes as another utility, Anglian Water, has chosen to drop CSC after a 15-year relationship and sign-up Capgemini for a new five-year IT services contract.

Utility companies are increasingly looking towards implementing smart grids to control the distribution of gas and electricity. But a recent survey found that many are not yet ready to support smart grid intelligence, reaquiring better systems integration for the masses of data they will have to manage.