Raleigh, NC, August 18, 2010 – Jackson Energy Authority (JEA) has selected Tantalus as its Smart Grid technology platform. This deployment marks the fifth utility to implement a Tantalus Homerunâ„¢ Network, which leverages a utility-owned FTTH (Fiber to the Home) network for triple-play media as well as Smart Grid functionality.
JEA is a municipal utility located midway between Nashville and Memphis that operates one of the most advanced utility-owned fiber-optic networks in the country. The huge bandwidth afforded by fiber enables JEA to roll out a range of demand response applications such as Tantalus smart thermostats and load control for residential and C&I customers, in addition to implementing smart metering to over 100,000 electric, water and gas endpoints.
The project also includes strategic deployment of electric meters equipped with remote disconnect under glass switches, which allows JEA to effectively address non-payments and move-in / move-outs directly from its operations center via TUNet®, the Tantalus Utility Network. This gives JEA a rapid, reliable and financially practical way to stop and start service without a site visit.
JEA's CEO Danny Wheeler says that triple play and the Smart Grid are a natural fit. “When we committed to building the EPlus network in 2004, our focus was on the new entertainment and high-speed information services we could offer. Tantalus showed us how to get additional value out of this key community asset by using it to improve behind-the-scenes functions and those that enable us to interact with consumers in ways that can save them money and conserve energy.”
“A Tantalus Homerun Network made for an extremely positive business case,” he added. “We get double duty out of EPlus as it is both the backbone for rich media services and the data pipeline to hundreds of thousands of utility endpoints – meters, load shedding devices, and smart thermostats that alert customers when different price levels are in effect.”
Wheeler said that JEA investigated a number of AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) technologies before choosing TUNet. “Tantalus stood out because of its experience in delivering a robust wireless communications network while leveraging FTTH and its full portfolio of metering and demand response products. Tantalus brings field proven experience in similar deployments and supports the interactive energy efficiency applications endorsed by the TVA.”
More than 30 utilities throughout North America now use Tantalus technology, including 10 in the Tennessee Valley. Of these, five are deploying Tantalus Homerun Networks and the balance use 220 MHz RF, a long-range, cost-effective communications option that enables utilities in some of the state's most mountainous, densely foliated environments to provide the same advanced functionality over a wireless network.
“Not since the 1930s when the TVA made electricity widely available throughout the Valley has there been a modernization project this significant in the region,” said Eric Murray, Tantalus President & CEO, speaking of the large number of utilities in the Tennessee Valley deploying broadband-based Smart Grid systems. “It's putting cities like Jackson, Chattanooga, Pulaski, and Morristown miles ahead in their ability to provide leading edge public services and give consumers real choice and control over the way they use energy.”
JEA (Jackson Energy Authority) is a public utility that provides electric, natural gas, propane, water, wastewater, cable, voice, Internet and advanced fiber-optic broadband services to customers. JEA service territory spans a 272-square-mile area that includes the city of Jackson, Tennessee and parts of Madison and Gibson Counties, Tennessee. For more information, visit www.jaxenergy.com.
Tantalus provides two-way, real-time data communications networks to monitor and control electric, gas and water utilities. TUNet® – the Tantalus Utility Network – is an end-to-end WAN/LAN/HAN communications system that operates with 220 MHz RF and IP-based networks including Fiber, WiMAX and GPRS/cellular, either individually or in combination. TUNet's patented and patents pending technologies are purpose built for the Smart Grid. The Tantalus network unites a utility's applications, making advanced metering, outage management, power quality monitoring, load control, and distribution automation cost-effective and practical throughout both urban and rural service areas. For more information, please visit www.tantalus.com.
Manager, Marketing Communications
Tantalus Systems Corp.
Phone: 604-299-0458, Ext. 227