The PEER certification programme evaluates power generation, transmission, and distribution systems across desired outcomes that include efficiency, quality, reliability, resiliency and the environment.
The US Green Building Council (GBCI) presented the certificate at a conference, at which Electric Power Board of Chattanooga (EPB) officials stated that the council’s assessment of Chattanooga’s smart grid, was that it was a “showcase example of a sustainable electric distribution system and power industry leader.”
Chattanooga’s smart grid which is operated by EPB was recognised as America’s first city to be certified for a new environmental distinction for electric power systems.
EPB executive vice president David Wade said: “We’ve built a great platform to give us and our customers a wealth of data to detect problems earlier and to better manage our power grid for reliability and efficiency.”
EPB smart grid tech
Chattanooga’s smart grid consists of fiber optic wires, intelliruptors and other smart grid equipment installed over the past six years across the utility’s 600-square-mile (1553 km) service area.
According to a press statement, “[EPB]Surpassing the 240 points required for PEER certification, Chattanooga’s power grid scored 294.3 points, nearly 23 percent higher than the designation’s base condition. Chattanooga earned a perfect score in 18 of the 69 specific criteria including reliability and power quality, energy efficiency savings and operations/maintenance efficiency.”
In 2010, EPB received a US$111.7 million in a federal stimulus grant to help build its smart grid.
Customers have reportedly experienced 55-60 percent less outages than before and EPB’s smart grid has helped avoid 124.7 million customer minutes of interruptions by better detection of power faults.
The utility’s advanced grid tech has also helped determine better methods of rerouting power to restore service more quickly than in the past.
Wade added: “We constantly strive to enhance the value of the electric service we deliver to our customers. We want every home and business that we serve to have high quality, reliable energy that keeps people comfortable in their homes while helping businesses grow our local economy.”