Chattanooga, TN (February 19, 2014) – The community’s Smart Grid prevented an additional 40,000 homes and businesses from losing power during last week’s snow storm, resulting in a 52% reduction in weather related outages.
During the three day event about 76,000 customers were affected, but the Smart Grid automatically restored 40,000 customers within a few seconds or minutes. About 36,000 homes and businesses experienced outages that needed restoration by EPB crews.
The widespread power outages were caused by up to 10 inches of snow bringing down trees and limbs on EPB power lines. EPB crews worked 16 to 30 hour shifts with help from contractors and numerous other utilities.
“It’s good to see the Smart Grid delivering consistent results that benefit our community,” EPB President and CEO Harold DePriest said. “In addition to the Smart Grid, we are thankful for all the assistance from out-of-town crews who helped restore our community’s electric system.”
Established as an independent board of the City of Chattanooga in 1935, EPB is a municipally-owned utility that provides electric power and fiber optic communications services as a means of promoting economic development and enhancing quality of life across the local area.
EPB serves nearly 180,000 homes and businesses in a 600 square-mile area that includes greater Chattanooga, as well as parts of surrounding counties and areas of North Georgia.
In 2010, EPB became the first provider in the United States to deliver up to 1 Gig (1,000 mbps) internet speeds utilizing a community-wide fiber optic network that provides access to every home and business in its service area. In 2015, EPB became the first (and to date) only American ISP to make up to 10 Gig (10,000 mbps) internet speeds accessible to all of its residential and commercial customers as a standard offer.
EPB has also utilized its community-wide fiber optic network to deploy the most advanced and highly automated smart grid power management system in the nation. In recognition of EPB’s groundbreaking infrastructure, the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are utilizing EPB’s smart grid as a national model for researching and developing best practices. EPB is also the first major power distribution utility to earn the USGBC’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid.