T&D World Magazine

EPB Providing Energy Management Options to Customers

EPB, Chattanooga’s electric power distributor and communications provider, and Alcatel-Lucent have teamed to ultimately provide energy management options to customers throughout the region by developing techniques to help analyze energy usage at unprecedented levels of detail.

EPB operates a high-speed optical fiber network – powered by Alcatel-Lucent’s gigabit passive optical network (GPON) technology -- that today offers broadband Internet access and other services to over 170,000 homes and businesses in metropolitan Chattanooga and surrounding rural areas. EPB currently is building one of the most advanced and automated smart grid networks in the world. With wide-scale deployment of sensors and control devices at locations throughout the grid, coupled with pervasive broadband communications, the smart grid network will provide the utility the ability to measure, monitor and control their electricity distribution network in real time at fine levels of detail.

Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs is developing advanced analytical techniques and tools to help EPB even further mine the wealth of information from smart meters, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems and other data to help reduce electric service outages, help EPB’s customers manage energy costs, manage power consumption during peak consumption periods, and improve operational efficiencies.

The Bell Labs-developed analytical techniques will allow EPB to:

  • detect and fix anomalies in their distribution grid before they affect their customers’ electric service.
  • more efficiently manage the power purchases from their energy supplier (Tennessee Valley Authority) during peak and off peak hours, resulting in savings that EPB can pass along to its customers.
  • offer its customers value added energy management services to help their customers better manage energy costs.
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