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March 23 2010

Tantalus Powers Pulaski's Award Winning Smart Metering Project

Tampa, FL – March 23, 2010 – PowerGrid International Magazine has named Pulaski Electric System (PES) the winner of its 2010 Smart Metering Project of the Year.

Pulaski, a Tennessee utility that provides power to 15,000 homes and businesses, is one of the first municipal utilities in the country to own and operate a Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network and use it for both triple-play media services (high speed internet, high definition TV, Voice-Over-IP) and a full range of smart metering applications.

Kirby Parr accepted the award at Distributech 2010 in Tampa, North America’s largest showcase for utility transmission & distribution technology. He said that the ability to track hourly energy usage by individual meter as well as by groups of accounts gives PES valuable insight into how customers use power. With this information in hand, the utility can offer programs and services that help customers reduce consumption and lower their energy costs.

As Tennessee’s oldest municipal utility and the first in the state to receive power from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), PES has a long history of providing top tier service through the use of technology. In 2008, Pulaski deployed a Tantalus Utility Network (TUNet®), a data communications system that allows it to use the FTTH network within the city, and wireless 220 MHz RF in rural areas where broadband is not currently available. As a result, PES has been able to drive additional value from its fiber system and cost-effectively extend smart metering applications to outlying areas via the wireless network.

“We see fiber as an extension of municipal infrastructure,” Parr pointed out. “It is as important today as are good roads, schools, and other essential services in attracting people and supporting businesses. The community clearly saw the benefits of broadband, and this network is putting us in the best possible position to meet our future economic and electricity needs.”

The next steps for PES, he said, are to implement direct load control and other interactive service, time-of-use-pricing and other initiatives supported by the TVA in the drive to get consumers more involved in conservation. The utility has also received TVA approval for a bi-directional metering program that will enable private producers of clean and green energy to sell surplus power back to the utility.

Eric Murray, Tantalus’ President & CEO, added: “Pulaski has been pragmatic in ensuring that their broadband network and Smart Grid system satisfies all their business, operational and customer service objectives. The hybrid wireless and wired network is a creative, cost-effective approach. We are proud to work alongside them on this innovative deployment, and are thrilled with the recognition they’ve received for this groundbreaking project.”

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