Tantalus: Manage Energy, Water, and Gas Resources Intelligently Through an Advanced Enterprise Solution
Peter Londa, President & CEOA major cultural change is underway in the utilities industry, presenting a fundamental challenge for CIOs in this sector. “A challenge and opportunity for many electric, water, and gas utilities is to breakdown historical silos existing between departments—executive, operations, finance, customer support, and IT—by leveraging smart grid technology to stream data from the edge of a distribution network across multiple disciplines,” says Peter Londa, President and CEO, Tantalus Systems. Once a utility makes the important leap toward automating the collection of consumption data and power metrics, Londa adds, “fully leveraging the computing power of advanced networks, data management and analytics are the next major objective in the to-do list of utility CIOs.” Raleigh, NC-based Tantalus provides Smart Grid communications technology and smart grid applications enabling utilities to automate existing processes, improve operational efficiency and reliability, and enhance value to all utility stakeholders by harnessing the power of data.
Tantalus supports nearly 100 municipal and cooperative utilities in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean, where the company is known for building strong partnerships with its user community. In continued support of these long-term partnerships with its users, Tantalus formed an IT Advisory Board comprised of seven organizations/users and their respective senior IT professionals. “Through the IT Advisory Board, we gain tremendous insight into the inner-workings of our users as well as their critical challenges and needs, thereby making us more responsive to support both existing and prospective users of our solution,” says Londa.
To deliver near real-time data from the edge of a distribution network, Tantalus developed TUNet®—Tantalus Utility Network—a smart grid platform capable of supporting advanced applications. “TUNet helps utilities allocate resources more efficiently, deliver cost savings, and provide the highest quality of service to consumers,” says Londa. Each TUNet end-point leverages six on-board processors and an integrated Linux-based operating system to enable intelligent decision-making at the edge of the network. TUNet provides ample bandwidth and processing power to support parallel advanced applications on a single network platform. The solution combines flexible WAN and LAN capabilities to create a network that are fast, secure, and affordable.
TUNet leverages the power of data analytics to understand what is happening at that micro level of a utility’s distribution network, leading to improved decision making at the macro level of the organization
Tantalus customizes its network designs to support high-density urban environments, high consumption industrial centers, rural footprints and challenging terrain.
TUNet enhances network security, system uptime, and responsiveness, which are key factors in resolving the challenges associated with outages, cyber security, and severe weather conditions. “TUNet leverages the power of data analytics to understand what is happening at that micro level of a utility’s distribution network, leading to improved decision making at the macro level of the organization,” says Londa. Witnessing the capabilities of Tantalus at other utilities, Inland Power & Light (IPL) approached the company to provide total coverage and a broad suite of advanced applications across their diverse Pacific Northwest electric cooperative territory. To help IPL improve service for its 39,000 members, Tantalus deployed TUNet to provide unparalleled network range and coverage along with a clear path toward incrementally adopting advanced applications to increase the project’s ROI. By leveraging advanced applications such as remote disconnect/reconnect, IPL is saving meaningful dollars by avoiding field visits and reducing other operational expenses.
Looking ahead, Tantalus plans to further expand and enhance its applications in AMI, distribution automation, load management, distributed generation, and net metering. The company will continue to empower its user base with leading-edge applications while building a reputation as the premier smart grid data management and analytics company for municipal and cooperative utilities.