T&D World Magazine

Morristown Adds Tantalus’ Smart Grid Functionality

Morristown Utility Systems is the most recent utility to add Tantalus’ Smart Grid functionality to an existing Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network. The municipal utility, which has provided customers with triple-play media services since 2005, will leverage its broadband network for advanced metering of electricity and water as well as for energy management programs that will enable it to interact with customers in cost saving and conservation initiatives.

“Leveraging our fiber network for smart grid applications gives us a head start on implementing the energy efficiency and demand response programs proposed by the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority),” said Jody Wigington, Morristown’s general manager. “We’ve offered FTTH to our 15,000 customers for five years. By deploying a Tantalus system, we’re now in a position to build out the value of the network and set the stage for time-of-use pricing and tightly coordinated load control. This will go a long way toward reducing consumption and keeping the Valley clean and green.”

Optimizing voltage levels throughout Morristown’s service area is a priority for the east Tennessee utility, added Wigington. “It’s wasteful to carry surplus energy. Being able to quickly find situations where we can reduce line voltage to the ideal level will help make our network more efficient and save money in the long run.”

The Tantalus system enables utilities to continually monitor voltage and power quality conditions. The utility gains an accurate, up-to-the-minute report on how much power is flowing over a powerline, so it can adjust the supply accordingly in order to minimize energy waste.

Morristown is the eighth utility in the state to deploy a Tantalus system, and the third to use FTTH for data communications. It will also use Tantalus to transmit meter readings from its 12,000 residential and industrial water accounts. Tantalus endpoint devices communicate with BadgerMeter’s ORION wireless technology, allowing them to interoperate on a unified network. This gives the utility’s water department daily consumption data used for billing as well as operational data for leak detection and conservation monitoring.

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