Inland Power & Light picks Tantalus, Itron for smart grid network

Smart grid communications company Tantalus and Itron Inc. announced that Inland Power & Light (IPL) has selected a Tantalus-Itron solution for public power to provide advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and smart grid services for the nearly 39,000 members in its cooperative in eastern Washington and northern Idaho.

The integrated TUNet (Tantalus Utility Network) platform will serve as the core foundation for IPL to deploy Itron AMI-ready meters to facilitate the use of advanced applications such as automated metering, interval meter data collection, prepay and power quality management.

IPL’s initial deployment plans centered on a power line carrier (PLC) solution due to the availability of existing power lines and widespread adoption among rural electric cooperatives.

However, the inherent limitations in data delivery speed and distance with PLC as well as the extensive upgrades and additional maintenance to substations that IPL would have had to undertake made the solution difficult to justify for a long-term smart grid business case.

This project is a joint effort between Tantalus, Itron, and General Pacific. IPL will use the newly released TUNet-enabled CENTRON II electric meters for their deployment. This high-performance residential meter will deliver granular meter data to TUNet applications that will enable IPL to immediately use features such as interval meter reading, remote disconnect/reconnect and power diversion management.

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