Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Tantalus wins AMI contract with Florida utility

Iain Morris
July 1, 2014
Smart grid player Tantalus says it has won a contract to provide advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and applications to Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) in north central Florida.

GRU (Gainesville, FL, USA) is to use networking technology from Tantalus (Raleigh, NC, USA) in conjunction with meters developed by Itron (Liberty Lake, WA, USA) to support a range of applications, including remote monitoring, consumer energy portals and outage management.

TUNet – the networking technology developed by Tantalus – will also be used to gather data from gas and water meters that form part of an existing deployment.

“The ability to gain so much granular insight into our system will make a significant impact on our business operations,” said David Lea, AMI project manager for GRU. “For GRU, AMI made the most sense for us if we could deploy strategically, based on very specific business drivers such as reducing the number of truck rolls we utilize on a monthly basis.”

According to a statement from Tantalus, GRU is to make use of WiMax technology to provide backhaul for its advanced metering communications.

TUNet will gather the energy data for real-time broadband transport to the utility “head end”, where it will be integrated with existing third-party applications, such as billing software.

TUNet will also be used to support two-way communications with existing devices in the field, helping to improve system reliability and enhance power quality, as well as to gather meter readings from existing Itron modules.

The companies have indicated that deployment will start later this summer and initially target newly constructed apartment complexes near the University of Florida.

A short-term goal of automation will be to incorporate customer portals, enabling consumers to monitor and manage their usage and receive account notifications remotely.

Itron said its collaboration with Tantalus was already delivering benefits to utilities and consumers in other parts of the country and internationally.

The two organizations together serve a number of utility customers, including Inland Power & Light (Spokane, WA, USA), Fleming-Mason Energy (Flemingsburg, KY, USA) and Guyana Power & Light (New Amsterdam, Guyana).
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