Combined solution enables municipal and cooperative utilities to migrate to two-way AMI while leveraging up to 95% of existing investments in Itron’s installed base of ERTs
RALEIGH, NC, — November 12, 2014 — Tantalus, a leading provider of smart grid communications and applications, today announced with Itron Inc. , a world-leading technology and services company, the commercial availability of automated ERT (Encoder Receiver Transmitter) reading functionality for the companies’ joint solution platform for municipal and cooperative utilities. The solution is designed for utilities to quickly and cost-effectively migrate from a one-way drive-by or walk-by system to real-time reading via TUNet® – the Tantalus Utility Network – configured as a fixed network, two-way AMI solution. This new alternative enables multi-commodity utilities to preserve existing investments in electric, water, and gas ERT technology. Along with ERT-reading functionality, an entire suite of newly enhanced Itron and Tantalus applications for automated metering, load management, and power quality management are also immediately available throughout North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Texas-based Garland Power & Light (GP&L), the City of Garland’s locally owned and controlled not-for-profit municipal utility, is among the first to utilize this comprehensive package of hardware and software applications. Since deploying TUNet-enabled Itron advanced meters, the utility has leveraged additional functionality offered in the joint solution including the automation of the collection of electric and water ERT readings and the visualization of live meter data in TRUView™ GIS. The solution is also seamlessly integrated with existing hardware and software such as Itron’s MVRS for billing. As a result, GP&L has been able to maintain existing billing interfaces and processes, but with enhanced capabilities which has led to a marked increase in operational savings through decreased truck rolls, verified and time stamped remote disconnects/reconnects for electricity, and more accurate billing.
“The City of Garland has been extremely pleased with the Itron and Tantalus partnership approach to this project from its inception,” remarked Mike Rader, Customer Service Manager for the City of Garland. “We feel that we have been given a voice in the development of a solution which effectively meets the challenges of balancing functionality, investment, and future planning, which are common considerations for public power utilities across the board. The Itron-Tantalus solution provides us with practical ways to drive down operational cost, improve customer service, and optimize existing investments in technology.”
The collaboration combines Itron’s industry-leading SENTINEL® and CENTRON™ electricity meters as well as its gas and water ERT modules together with Tantalus’ TUNet® platform to address advanced metering, demand management, and distribution automation for the municipal and cooperative markets, which include nearly 40 million electric and 20 million gas and water meters. This offering is unique in the municipal and cooperative space and has already been shown to serve as a viable low capital cost option to migrate towards smart grid implementation at a fraction of the cost of a full system change out while providing a highly intelligent platform to utilize value-add applications, which are typically scaled for optimization in the large IOU market.
“As a company dedicated to resourcefulness, we aim to help our customers make the most of what they have. In collaboration with Tantalus, we are helping multi-commodity utilities use existing assets to gain more advanced capabilities,” stated Lou Gust, Itron vice president of sales and marketing for electricity in North America. “Our solution with Tantalus gives multi-commodity utilities a great option for migrating to a single two-way network utilizing existing communication modules in the field.”
“In partnering with Itron, we made a joint commitment to deliver an exceptional solution to help modernize utility operations while considering the unique set of challenges and responsibilities faced by municipal and cooperative utilities,” stated Peter Londa, Tantalus President and CEO. “Today, we are proud to deliver on our commitments with a right-sized and elegant solution that has been developed and field-proven through close collaboration with our customers.”
Tantalus provides two-way, real-time data communications networks to monitor and control electric, gas and water utilities. TUNet® – the Tantalus Utility Network – is an end-to-end WAN/LAN/HAN communications system that operates with 220 MHz RF, 900 MHz, and IP-based networks including Fiber, WiMAX and GPRS/cellular, either individually or in combination. TUNet’s patented and patents pending technologies are purpose built for the Smart Grid. The Tantalus network unites a utility’s applications, making advanced metering, outage management, power quality monitoring, and load control, cost-effective and practical throughout both urban and rural service areas. For more information, please visit www.tantalus.com.