The Piedmont Municipal Power Agency (PMPA), a joint action agency formed by 10 municipal electric utilities in the state of South Carolina, US, has selected Tantalus as its smart grid communications provider.

The company will provide load management tools and an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) overlay, which will allow the utilities agency to remotely read existing Itron electric, water, and gas ERT meter deployments.

Tantalus Utility Network (TUNet) will extend two-way AMI network for selected members of the PMPA during the first phase of the deployment and in the second phase the rest of the agency members, representing over 100,000 endpoints will be covered.

PMPA will procure and maintain the smart grid communication network and load control devices for its members to help its agency members to benefit from the availability of Tantalus smart meter modules.

In addition, utilities will also benefit from the energy management applications, and two-way communications to better monitor their distribution systems, improve customer service, and cut operating costs.

TUNet will also provide end-use consumers the ability to view their usage data over the Internet.

PMPA Engineering and Power Supply director Michael Frazier said, "Tantalus was the only smart grid communications provider that was able to overlay a comprehensive communications network allowing the use of two-way metering and load management devices without the need to replace every meter and with the ability to leverage existing deployed assets."

In 2011, Tantalus and Itron partnered to jointly overlay solution to utilities with existing Itron ERT modules and one-way automatic meter reading (AMR) networks.

The joint solution from the two companies provides a migration path to two-way AMI for municipal and cooperative utilities without the need to upgrade the infrastructure.