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T&D World Magazine

Norwich Public Utilities Selects Tantalus for AMI

Norwich Public Utilities has selected Tantalus to provide an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system, which will enable the utility to introduce a range of energy efficiency initiatives to help customers better manage their energy costs.

Founded in 1904, NPU is a municipal utility located in southeast Connecticut that provides electricity to 22,000 customers and water, sewer, and natural gas service to 20,000 premises. It is one of the few public entities nationwide to provide a full range of utility services including electricity, natural gas, and water and sewer to its customers. Norwich will use funds from its Department of Energy’s America Reinvestment and Recovery Act grant to introduce advanced metering throughout its service area, giving it the ability to dynamically, reliably and economically balance energy supply and demand.

Norwich, a Clean Cities Coalition member, will use a combination of Tantalus’s 220 MHz radio and its existing municipal fiber network to create a highly redundant, reliable, two-way communications network. The wireless TUNet (Tantalus Utility Network) canopy establishes wide area coverage throughout NPU’s urban and rural service areas. "What sets Tantalus apart from other solutions we vetted is the flexibility and strength of their communications platform,” said Jeff Brining, NPU’s Energy Services Division Manager. “Customers are starting to demand real-time information. Tantalus’s system works seamlessly with our current fiber communications network and has highly effective RF capabilities which allow us to reach all of our customers.” NPU’s Operations Manager Christopher LaRose agrees. “From an operational perspective, Tantalus has been great to work with,” LaRose said. “The self-generating system easily communicates real-time information from the meters that will enable us to greatly enhance customer service in the future.”Brining also believes increased electric vehicle (EV) adoption will require progressive action from utilities because of shifting energy consumption patterns from customers. “On one hand, there will be added demand on our system to charge EVs, and on the other, they can be used as a storage device that can be tapped during a peak load situation. We anticipate that EVs will be very popular in the region and made sure that the system we selected possessed the ability to support bi-directional metering so we can closely monitor their impact. Tantalus proved to us that they have a technology platform that can be quickly and economically deployed, meets our current functional goals and can grow with our utility and our community.”
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