There has been a lot of talk about how utilities and telecom providers can work together to build out a smart grid infrastructure, but Central Indiana Power (CIP) and Hancock Telecom are putting those thoughts to action in Indiana.
Under the terms of the agreement between the telco and the utility, CIP will leverage Hancock's Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network for smart metering in addition to upcoming demand response initiatives proposed by Wabash Valley Power Association, which provides power to CIP and other utilities in the region.
Powering the smart grid deployment will be Tantalus' Tantalus Homerun Network, which will enable CIP to automate meter readings, outage detection and disconnect/reconnect procedures. Typically, these functions have to be done manually by the utility.
In addition, Tantalus claims that its Homerun Network can help CIP be proactive about its power system by optimizing power quality monitoring for customer's homes and on distribution equipment to detect and correct problems before service is impacted.
CIP's deployment with Hancock represents a relatively nascent but slowly growing partnership trend between utilities and local telcos.
Similar FTTH-based smart grid deployments are taking place with other municipal-based telcos such as EPB Chattanooga, Jackson Energy and Pulaski Electric. Meanwhile, Concord, Mass. is leveraging a Calix-based GPON FTTH network at this point only for smart grid applications, although the network could be leveraged at a later date for triple-play services as well.
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