T&D World Magazine

Missouri DOE Smart Grid Project Selects Communications Backbone

After reviewing proposals from several leading vendors, the city of Fulton, Missouri, selected Tantalus to provide the communications backbone for its smart grid. Fulton’s deployment of the technology is funded by a Department of Energy grant that carries strict performance requirements. Tantalus was selected based on a number of criteria including its ability to manage real-time data communications.

“Once we questioned other vendors on their ‘TruPush’ capabilities it became apparent why Tantalus’ unique communications would allow us to achieve our operational savings through strict management of our day-ahead forecast numbers with MISO and allow us to manage other municipal energy assets through real time back-office integration, maximizing our revenue potential,” said City Administrator Bill Johnson. “For an integrated municipal utility this is key to providing responsible cost control for our city businesses and residents.”

In making a selection, Fulton staff visited Tantalus deployments in Norwich, Connecticut and Pulaski, Tennessee, where grid manager colleagues relayed their experiences of Tantalus technology and customer service.

“Right now this technology is so new we’re deciding if we want to go with Macintosh or Apple,” said former mayor Charles Latham, who was deeply involved in the selection process. “The gee-whiz gadgets will always come and go, but you’ll always need communication for those gee-whiz gadgets.”

Tantalus’ ability to transition Fulton’s network to fiber optic technology mitigates the utility’s investment risk. It also effectively future-proofs Fulton’s Smart Grid network, unlocking immediate operational benefits and enabling the utility later to take advantage of emerging communications technologies.

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