EPB Designs Smart Grid and Fiber Optic Network Using GIS

Needing to connect sensors and devices for smart grid capabilities, EPB implemented a fiber optic network design and engineering solution to build a fiber optic network, reduce outage time, and offer fiber-based communications services.


The Challenge

Established in 1935, EPB in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is one of the United States’ largest community-owned electric power distributors. 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

EPB selected Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure to add fiber optic network design capabilities to its existing utility geographical information system (GIS) built on Intergraph G/Technology. Powered by Fiber Optic Works, EPB was able to quickly engineer its smart grid from the same data elements used in G/Technology’s original model of EPB’s network.

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 six million customer outage minutes by restoring power with automated switching capability using the electric and fiber network infrastructure modeled in G/Technology.

With its fiber optic communications network, EPB has been able to establish a broad coverage area for high-speed Internet capabilities using fiber infrastructure. The communications infrastructure is modeled in G/Technology 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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