Established in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1935, EPB is one of the largest publicly owned providers of electric power in the United States. The city-owned distribution and telecommunications company provides power to consumers in the greater Chattanooga area.
When planning for the future needs of its customers as well as the business, the company decided to modernise the EPB electric system into a smart grid by adding sensors and monitoring devices to the existing electrical distribution network.
EPB searched for a smart grid based on a fibre optic communications infrastructure that could deliver state-of-the-art communications services to residences and businesses. In order to connect fibre to the home — and later provide advanced communications services, such as broadband and video, to its customers — EPB needed to design fibre routes and monitor the connectivity of the best route for the most customers.
The company also needed an electric system that would better allow it to have more control over energy-use management as well as identify and restore power during outages more quickly.
Finding the solution
When it was time to choose a partner, EPB was familiar with Hexagon. “We were already using G/technology to map our power system,” says Jason Sauls, Application Systems Analyst, EPB.
EPB decided to leverage the same technology with add-on features for its fibre optic model, as the models share many of the same data elements. “It was just a natural fit us to stay with the Intergraph product,” says Sauls.
EPB implemented its Fibre to the Home (FTTH) project in 2009 by adding fibre enhancements to Hexagon’s electric model. Developed by Hexagon’s utility GIS solution, the infrastructure is shared with FTTH operations and billing system to support automatic provisioning of the optical network terminals at the customer premise.
The FTTH infrastructure project was completed with the installation of 90 miles of transport fibre, 800 miles of feeder fibre and 3,200 miles of distribution fibre.