Chattanooga’s EPB Impressed by Money Saving Smart Grid
Chattanooga has had some nasty weather lately but officials from municipal utility EPB say their smart grid more than proved itself, and it’s saving the city a lot of money. David Wade, EPB CEO and executive VP, said a heavy windstorm last week downed power lines that left 3,500 customers without power briefly, but added that the utility’s smart grid prevented another 8,000 from losing electricity, according to a news report in the Chattanoogan.
And when a tree took down a 46,000-volt line this week that serves three substations and 11,258 customers, he said the smart grid re-routed power and prevented more than 10,000 from getting their electricity cut off – and added that a dispatcher remotely repaired the problem for the other customers.
Pre-smart grid, he said, “It would have taken quite a while to locate and fix all the 38 switches that were involved.” Harold DePriest, EPB president, said estimates indicated that their smart grid saves between $50-$60 million yearly in prevented power outages and lost productivity.
Joe Ferguson, board chairman, also had glowing words: “The investment is paying off handsomely.” EPB’s smart grid was made possible through a $111.6 million federal stimulus grant.