EPB Previews New Distribution Center

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

EPB unveiled its new power distribution center as President and CEO Harold DePriest said, "Chattanooga is the first community in North America to combine the control of electric and fiber optic systems into one center."

He continued, "We're more prepared to serve our customers, help promote economic development and grow with new technologies." 

Part of this preparedness comes from EPB's new Distribution Center, which serves as the hub of the fiber optic-based Smart Grid and features video walls that allow employees to track storms and see outages in real time.

In a presentation, President DePriest showed exactly how outages are fixed. Data from the Smart Grid is immediately visible on the center's video wall. Undisturbed power flow is shown in yellow, while outages appear as red dots. From here, if the outage can be fixed by the Smart Grid, the red becomes purple. Manually fixed locations turn green. 

President DePriest said, "What we're finding, is that the bigger the storm, the lower the percentage put back on by the Smart Grid, but it's still in the 50 to 60 percent range. In a little storm, it may restore 75 percent."

Ryan Keel of EPB pointed out that areas with both fiber optic and electric outages were the highest priority. 

The facility itself, operated 24/7, is designed to withstand storms. The walls and ceilings are all concrete reinforced and the windows are designed to be impact resistant. Steel hurricane shutters can also come over the windows.

President DePriest said, "Everything is based on this thing being able to sustain a massive storm hit." 

The Distribution Center is also designed to keep customers' data extremely safe. With security guards and video surveillance at all times, the facility also requires fingerprint access for areas with sensitive information.


Bradley County Sheriff’s Office Charges 3 With Robbery And Kidnapping

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson said investigation continued Tuesday into an incident Monday night that led to three suspects being charged with felony counts of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery. The sheriff’s office was first made aware of the situation when contacted by the victim who stated he initially met one of the suspects to give them money to purchase ... (click for more)

Tillery Slaying Bound Over To Grand Jury

The case of Jermichael Tillery has been bound over to the grand jury. Tillery is charged with the murder of Cornelius Douglas at 1419 Carousel Road on April 25. Witness Michael Walker appeared before Judge Gary Starnes on Tuesday. He said he saw the first shot, but didn’t start running till the fifth or sixth shot. “That’s when the other dude lifted up his gun ... (click for more)

Late-Night Harassment By The Signal Mountain Police - And Response (11)

I am writing about the misconduct of the Signal Mountain Police Department. This is a repetitive civil rights problem, systemic within their department, with no hint of remorse or regret or a notion to change, though they have been confronted numerous times.   I live on Signal Mountain. In the last few months, I have been pulled over three times while I was driving three ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Hot Rod’s Catfish Dinner

It could well be the best part of playing a prank is in the delicious moments until your “fish” takes the hook. So yesterday afternoon, as I tried repeatedly to talk to a man I haven’t spoken to in 27 years, rather than leave my name I popped off the Happy Birthday song in a snappy, loud way and then ended it with a simple, “Call me,” adding my number. John “Hot Rod” Talley spent ... (click for more)

Crosby Huckabay At Heart Of Baylor Softball Success

The Baylor Lady Red Raiders have had incredible success on the softball field in recent years. Baylor is the defending D-II Class AA state champion and has won state titles in four of the past five seasons. There are three seniors on this year's team that has compiled an outstanding record of 34-4, including shortstop Mari Gardner, pitcher Kayla Hughes and first baseman Crosby ... (click for more)

Spring Fling XXIII Notebook: Rare Feat For Athletes and Coaches

Few former athletes who are current high school coaches have the distinction of participating in Spring Fling (1994 to present) as a player and coach and have a state championship included in their resume. The Chattanooga area has at least three – Tara Garner (Boyd Buchanan tennis), Dustin Kane (Baylor tennis) and Kelli Howard Smith (Baylor softball) – who meet the above mentioned ... (click for more)