REC installs smart automation devices or faster outage detection and restoration

Published 11:41 am Monday, January 21, 2019

AHOSKIE – In an effort to further increase reliability and build on its modernized smart energy grid infrastructure, Roanoke Electric Cooperative is deploying sophisticated new smart devices to improve detection of power line problems and automate some of the processes required to keep the lights on. The equipment can also reduce the number of member-owners affected during a power outage event.

“What this means for our member-owners is that we have the ability to restore power generally within minutes,” said George Stamper, Roanoke Electric Co-op vice president of engineering and information technology.“

With its system processes automated, the co-op should be able to more quickly identify and isolate service issues

Roanoke Electric Co-op crew members are shown installing new smart technology outage and line issue detection and restoration devices.

and restore power, often before co-op member-owners realize there has been any type of disruption. The new technology also offers financial benefits by reducing the cost of dispatching crews to diagnose and repair problems.

The detectors work by constantly monitoring and assessing condition of the lines that distribute power from the co-op’s substations to member-owners’ homes and businesses. The equipment reduces system stress on the power lines and isolates sections when and where service issues occur and alerts the co-op to blinks and outages or trouble spots that could lead to outages.

The co-op can also use these devices to reroute power from one power line to another.

“We are committed to leveraging innovative technologies to improve system reliability and to building a stronger, more dependable grid,” said Roanoke Electric Co-op President and CEO Curtis Wynn. “With this latest smart system upgrade, we are taking another significant step toward achieving our objective of maintaining the highest possible level of reliability for our member-owners.”

Roanoke Electric Cooperative provides service to 14,500 members in Bertie, Hertford, Halifax, Northampton, Gates, Perquimans and Chowan counties. Chartered in 1938 to provide light and power to farms, the co-op today serves as an engine of economic development and provides educational, recreational and community assistance services to enhance the quality of life of its member-owners throughout the diverse communities it serves.