Cobb EMC wins 2014 Cutting EDGE Technology Award

Cobb EMC wins 2014 Cutting EDGE Technology Award

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Cobb EMC earns Technology User Award for implementing Smart Grid technology 

Cobb EMC won the Cobb Chamber’s first annual Cutting EDGE Technology User Award for the cooperative’s deployment of a smart grid project throughout Cobb County.

The award, which was presented at last week’s Cobb Chamber First Monday Breakfast, was created to recognize Cobb-based companies that excel in using high-end technology in innovative ways to improve Cobb County.

“We’re extremely proud to be honored for our employees' years of hard work that went into this project,” said Jamey Hulsey, senior vice president of electric operations. “This award recognizes our work in Cobb County, but this project benefits our members in all five counties of our service district.”

The Cutting EDGE Technology Awards, which were sponsored by GE and Novelis and selected by qualified industry professional judges, also went to Manhattan Associates (Cutting EDGE Technology Creator Award) and Cobb County Government’s Risk Department (Cutting EDGE Green Tech/Clean Tech Award).

“Thanks to our team, our smart grid deployment was successfully completed on time and under budget,” said Hulsey. “At its peak, the project created more than 24 new jobs in Cobb County, and in the 33 months following deployment, we reduced operating expenses by more than $5 million. Moving forward, we expect to save $2.4 million annually.”

Members now enjoy increased service reliability, as the smart grid system minimizes impacts from system outages. In fact, outage duration times have been reduced to an average of less than 90 seconds for 64 percent of members who are impacted by an outage event. That average will improve as the Cobb EMC team deploys additional technologies.

Cobb EMC’s system allows the co-op to automatically restore power from the company’s state-of-the-art power control center, rather than sending out trucks. This automation reduces the time members’ lights are off, lowers operating expenses and cuts down on fuel emissions from having fewer trucks on the road. Reducing operating expenses has enabled the cooperative to issue three rate reductions over the past 15 months. 

“Now that we have meters that are capable of communicating back to our power control center, we’re able to use that data to improve members’ electrical service,” said Hulsey. “We can identify and predict an outage’s root cause in real time. That same technology allows us to proactively identify failing equipment before an outage occurs.”

Beyond outages, the system provides data that – over time – saves the cooperative’s members money. Along with reduced operating costs, smart grid data can identify power thefts, ensure less energy is used during peak hours, and offer members a PrePay rate program that offers more account flexibility. These meters also allow the company to turn power off and on remotely and to measure electricity generated by solar power resources.

Cobb EMC has presented these technologies at leading industry conferences and has been recognized by the Department of Energy and Technology vendors for the cooperative’s successful smart grid technologies deployment. 



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