According to a local publication, Newport Utilities will use its smart grid infrastructure to improve its utility operations as well as offer broadband services for consumers in Cocke County.
In addition to improving the reliability of its grid network through quick identification of power outages, Newport Utilities will use the smart grid infrastructure to offer internet, video and telephone services at a much faster speed.
The smart grid will enable Newport Utilities to remotely connect and monitor its substations.
The construction of the smart grid and connection of consumer homes to the network will be done in phases with phase 1 set to begin this month. The first phase of the project will only cover consumers in Newport city.
[quote] Glenn Ray, the general manager at Newport Utilities, said: “…We will have some customers hooked up in November and December and by the first of the year we should be taking orders as fast as we can handle them. So by June, we should have all of Phase 1 (connected) and we will be taking orders just as soon as we have the addresses identified and we know who we can service.”
Consumers will be connected to the smart grid network for free and be charged from $39,95 to $139.95 for the internet, $29.95 for telephone and $19.95 for tv services on a monthly basis.
Newport utilities plan to have all its consumers with meters connected to the smart grid network over the next five years. [US energy provider registers 90,000 telecoms service subscribers].
The news follows late June’s announcement made by the utility company that its board finalised plans to install the $38 million smart grid fiber project using funding from the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service Programme.
Newport Utilities Board finance manager, Sherry Frisbee, said that the federal agency has approved the financials of the planned smart grid fiber project for the next 10 years.
The utility also has identified weak spots in the electric delivery system. The utility said that upgrades have been prioritised and are to be completed over the next four years.
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