T&D World Magazine

Tantalus Technology to Power Tennessee City’s Smart Grid

Johnson City Power Board (JCPB) in Tennessee has selected Tantalus for a system-wide smart grid communications network.

The JCPB provides electricity and related services to more than 74,000 metered locations in Washington County, along with portions of Sullivan, Greene, and Carter counties in Tennessee, making it the tenth-largest public utility within the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) system. Tantalus will provide the JCPB with a full-scale, two-way smart metering solution that supports interval and on-demand reads, remote connect/disconnect services, instant outage/restoration alerts, and over-the-air firmware upgrades.

The JCPB selected the Tantalus platform because it is a flexible communication network that can evolve as the utility’s needs expand. Rapid and reliable communications between the utility and every home and business endpoint will enable JCPB to offer variable rate pricing options in compliance with the TVA’s proposed requirements for time-of-use (TOU) billing and load control applications. The Tantalus system is designed to support a full range of demand response (DR) functionality, from tiered pricing to load shedding to in-home signalling. This enables a utility to offer customers freedom of choice over when, how and to what degree they want to be involved in energy efficiency. Data provided by the Tantalus system can also be used to determine the success of DR initiatives.

Deployment of the TUNet network is scheduled to begin in spring 2010 with completion planned for late 2011. JCPB is simultaneously deploying a fiber-optic ring to connect the utility’s operations center and its 30 substations, which will also be able to provide economical, high bandwidth backhaul for Tantalus’ Smart Grid applications.

Seven TVA Distributors have now deployed Tantalus technology. These range from rural cooperatives that provide energy to remote communities in rugged Appalachian Mountain service areas, to municipal utilities like EPB Chattanooga and Pulaski Electric System that leverage wireless and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks for smart grid functionality.

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