EPB is building their fiber optic Smart Grid in order to provide more options for customers to manage their energy use while improving EPBs operational efficiency and reliability. Tantalus will provide the software and communications equipment to operate an automated meter system for EPBs Smart Grid. EPB will be able to quickly and cost-effectively roll out an advanced metering system that is also adaptable for future applications such as Demand Response and Distribution Automation.
Installation is scheduled to start this summer at houses located in the initial fiber optic Smart Grid footprint. EPB will implement a 1000-meter pilot test to ensure that TUNet is delivering maximum performance for their customers.
Within five years, EPB expects that all of its 168,000 residential and business customers will receive smart meters.
TUNet uses a wireless Local Area Network to communicate with endpoints not directly connected to the fiber network. Data delivered via TUNet can be integrated into utility applications including billing, outage management, forecasting and a host of customer service systems.
EPBs vision for the future is a system that provides rapid, two-way communication with every meter, home and device, said David Wade, Senior Vice President of EPBs Electric System. This communications backbone network will enable EPBs electric system to be smart, self-healing and make it possible and practical for the company and consumers to interact in cost and energy efficiency programs. With TUNet, we can get more value from our Smart Grid by using it to optimize operations, efficiency and service to our customers.
Wade cited a variety of other ways that customers will benefit from Tantalus Smart Grid technology including its ability to continuously monitor and manage meters and other endpoints to deliver a reduction in outages, faster restoration if there is an outage, and additional billing flexibility to customers.
EPB is one of only a handful of utilities to take full advantage of the possibilities available with a fiber optic Smart Grid. Its a natural fit, said Eric Murray, President of Tantalus. The aim of Tantalus and our technology is to improve the way energy is distributed, monitored and used. Chattanooga has set a strong example of how it will use technology to become a more efficient and responsive utility while getting additional value from its investment.