Opelika Power Services (OPS) has selected the Tantalus Homerun Network as the technology platform for a fiber-based smart grid solution that will be coupled with the utility’s triple-play media services. Tantalus’ communications technology and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) applications, coupled with Itron meters, will support Opelika’s initiative to become the first city in Alabama (U.S.) to provide fiber services directly to the user.
The progressive east Alabama power system currently provides electricity to Opelika’s more than 27,000 residents and will leverage fiber connectivity to every customer for exceptional gains in proactive grid management through TUNet– Tantalus Utility Network applications, such as automated meter reading, power outage management, demand management and remote disconnect/reconnect. Opelika residents also will be able to monitor and manage their energy consumption as well as to work with OPS to respond to systemwide peak energy events in real time.
Additionally, OPS plans to offer high-speed triple-play voice, video and data services to residents upon completion of the network. While investigating fiber for smart grid, city leaders quickly recognized the advantage that a large bandwidth network would provide to OPS to modernize its electric grid while simultaneously elevating the quality of life for residents and spurring economic development opportunities for the community.
In 2011, Itron and Tantalus partnered to offer a joint migration path to two-way AMI for municipal and cooperative utilities in North and Central America and the Caribbean. OPS represents the first joint win in Alabama as it joins the ranks of dozens of Itron-Tantalus customers, including Jackson Energy Authority, Piedmont Municipal Power Agency, and Guyana Power & Light. The joint solution is designed to use existing infrastructure to extend the value of those investments to dynamically view and manage grid performance, proactively diagnose and resolve problems like outages, and automate many operational processes resulting in improved customer service.