RALEIGH, N.C. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Tantalus, a leading provider of smart grid communications, today announced the commercial availability of the factory-integrated, TUNet-compatible Itron CENTRON II meter, equipped with Tantalus communication modules. The meter joins the full suite of Tantalus and Itron compatible products for residential and commercial applications for the municipal and cooperative public power market.
The high-performance meter will allow utilities to immediately utilize real-time interval meter reading, outage/restoral notification, voltage data, tamper detection and remote disconnect/reconnect functionality for residential electric customers. In addition, the new communications module is capable of receiving TUNup™ over-the-air firmware upgrades. This operational cost-saving feature will be utilized to implement reading support functionality for Itron electric, water, and gas ERT modules, providing a seamless integration between TUNet endpoints, servers, and existing billing systems. This innovation allows electric utilities to preserve their existing investments in handheld and drive by AMR infrastructure.
Garland Power & Light is one of the first utilities to deploy the new CENTRON II meter and to utilize its newly enhanced feature set. “We’ve determined that the reliability and range of features offered by the combination of CENTRON II meters with TUNet is the best fit to support our AMI pilot project, said Jonas Whitehead, Distribution Manager at Garland Power & Light. “For this pilot, our billing operations require rapid and reliable meter data collection for both remote reconnects/disconnects and billing inquiries.”
The robust, bi-directional metering capabilities of the CENTRON II will enable utilities to support advanced programs such as distributed and co-generation applications and dynamic pricing schedules. The remote service disconnect-reconnect switch includes a load sensing feature with full two-way communication, resulting in fewer trips to the field and reduced operational expense. Newly enhanced remote firmware upgrade capabilities will also reduce truck rolls and manual processes while improving system reliability and responsiveness.
“The delivery of the Itron-Tantalus CENTRON II meter represents a significant milestone in the joint partnership,” said Tammy Zucco, Tantalus Chief Marketing Officer. “The tremendous level of market demand that we’ve already seen for this product is another clear indicator of the validity of the partnership and of our collaborative offering for public power.”
“With our new joint offering, Itron and Tantalus are delivering true value to the municipal and cooperative public power markets,” said Lou Gust, Itron’s vice president of Sales and Marketing electricity in North America. “Together, we are supporting the needs of utilities, like Garland Power & Light, with flexible, scalable and economically justifiable solutions.”
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. The companies recently announced their first joint win in Alabama at fiber-enabled Opelika Power Services. OPS joined the rapidly growing domestic and international Itron-Tantalus customer base which includes utilities like Appalachian Electric Cooperative (AEC), Piedmont Municipal Power Agency (PMPA) and Guyana Power & Light (GPL). The joint solution is designed to utilize existing infrastructure where possible to extend the value of those investments and to enable utilities to dynamically view and manage grid performance, proactively diagnose and resolve problems like outages, and automate many operational processes resulting in improved customer service.
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, 900 MHz, 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.