Cherokee utility deploys fiber network for grid modernisation

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Cherokee County Electric Cooperative Association will be deploying a fiber network for smart grid applications.

The network, set to be deployed in collaboration with FiberRise, will enable the utility co-op to connect its distributed advanced devices and applications that are set to be deployed under the energy company’s grid modernisation programme.

The construction of the network is set to begin in November 2021 in the US counties of Cherokee, Smith, Rusk, and Nacogdoches.

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Once completed, the fiber network will provide connectivity to some six substations of the utility and help the energy company to improve the management of distributed energy resources.

Bart Bauer, Engineering Supervisor for CCECA, said: “A fiber network design that supports DERMS, SCADA and Outage Management is essential to improving the reliability of electricity to our members.

“Lack of access to quality broadband is also a big problem for our community.”

He said the fiber network will serve “our electric and broadband needs with a flexible and efficient architecture that can provide additional revenue opportunities and capabilities that benefit our cooperative membership. CCECA will soon offer lightning-fast speeds for work-at-home, telehealth and educational applications.”

Access to a modern IoT network in the rural region will enable the introduction of smart utility services including smart metering, grid automation, smart homes, and Time of Use billing that are enjoyed by consumers in urban setups.

The announcement follows the utility co-op announcing its multi-year smart meter installation programme in February 2021.