Chattanooga Smart Grid saves companies $600 million

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In 2011 the Electric Power Board (EPB) installed a smart grid in Chattanooga, Tennessee that has achieved a 55% reduction in outage time. The area’s businesses will save an estimated $40-$45 million a year, while the overall savings are likely to be $600 million over the first 10 years of deployment.

The project included many smart city functions:

  • Ultra high-speed Internet, voice and video access to all residents
  • A citywide WiFi network for the city and utility
  • Street light controls
  • Surveillance cameras
  • Enhanced police and fire response

In addition to the smart city features, the project (video) also included smart switch gear from S&C Electric called IntelliRupters® at key points along the power lines. IntelliRupters® automatically pinpoint and isolate the location of a fault, immediately restoring service to all customers, except those directly connected to the faulted line. And even the affected customers will experience drastically reduced outage time, because the utility repair crew finds the exact fault location immediately rather than searching the lines for hours or even days.

When a tornado hit the town in March of 2012, it took out power to only 3,400 residents, half the amount that would have been affected before.