EPB Launches Smart Grid with Hexagon Solutions

Needing a smart grid that would deliver state-of-the-art communications services to homes and businesses, EPB partnered with Hexagon to build a fiber optic smart grid using its advanced telecommunications GIS software.

The Challenge

Established in 1935, EPB in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is one of the largest community-owned electric power distributors in the United States. When planning for the future needs of its customers, the company decided to modernize the EPB electric system into a smart grid by adding sensors and monitoring devices to the existing electrical distribution network.

To connect its smart grid sensors and devices, EPB needed to build a fiber optic communications network. EPB required a GIS tool that would help it design, engineer, and manage its fiber optic network. EPB also needed a solution that would help it offer and manage next-generation communications services to businesses and homes in the Chattanooga area.

The Solution

Already a customer of Hexagon’s Safety & Infrastructure division, EPB partnered with the technology company to build a fiber optic smart grid using its advanced telecommunications GIS software. The solution was used to implement EPB’s original electric model, so it was the logical choice to leverage the same technology with add-on features for its fiber optic model since the models share many of the same data elements.

With its fiber optic smart grid, EPB has been able to provide next-generation electric services to its customers through more efficient operations and reduced outage response times. During a one-year period, EPB saved more than 6 million customer outage minutes by restoring power with automated switching capability using the electric and fiber network infrastructure modeled in Hexagon’s technology.

With its fiber optic communications network, EPB has established a broad coverage area for high-speed internet capabilities using fiber infrastructure. The communications infrastructure is modeled in Hexagon’s solution and then shared with the Fiber to the Home operations and billing system, allowing for automatic provisioning of the optical network terminals at customer premises. EPB’s customers now have the opportunity to purchase the best in communication services and experience more reliable electricity supply.

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