Inland Power & Light has selected a Tantalus-Itron solution for public power to provide advanced metering infrastructure and smart grid services for the approximately 39,000 members in its cooperative in eastern Washington and northern Idaho. The fully integrated TUNet - Tantalus Utility Network – platform will serve as the core foundation for IPL to deploy Itron AMI-ready meters to facilitate the use of advanced applications such as automated metering, interval meter data collection, prepay, and power quality management.
IPL’s initial deployment plans centered on a power line carrier (PLC) solution due to the availability of existing powerlines and widespread adoption among rural electric cooperatives. However, the inherent limitations in data delivery speed and distance with PLC as well as the extensive upgrades and additional maintenance to substations that IPL would have had to undertake made the solution difficult to justify for a long-term smart grid business case. After reviewing propagation studies of TUNet’s unique terrain-hugging 220 MHz WAN and 900 MHz LAN hybrid RF network, IPL concluded that real-time, bandwidth-heavy coverage would be feasible throughout their territory. The joint solution will introduce the capability to proactively manage outages, manage wholesale power supply costs through peak management, and provide data for member-serving energy efficiency programs and applications.
This project is a joint effort between Tantalus, Itron, and General Pacific, one of the leading wholesale stocking distributors in the Pacific Northwest. IPL will use the newly released TUNet-enabled CENTRON II electric meters for their deployment. This high-performance residential meter will deliver granular meter data to TUNet applications which will enable IPL to immediately utilize features such as interval meter reading, remote disconnect/reconnect, and power diversion management.
In 2011, Itron and Tantalus collaborated to offer a joint migration path to two-way AMI for municipal and cooperative utilities in North and Central America and the Caribbean. IPL joins the rapidly growing domestic and international Itron-Tantalus customer base which includes utilities like Appalachian Electric Cooperative (AEC), Piedmont Municipal Power Agency (PMPA) and Guyana Power & Light (GPL). The joint solution is designed to utilize existing infrastructure where possible to extend the value of those investments and to enable utilities to dynamically view and manage grid performance, proactively diagnose and resolve problems like outages, and automate many operational processes resulting in improved customer service.