Outage Management System Saves the Day
When a lightning strike in July 2018 disabled the phone system and radios at Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative (CCEC), employees in training for a new outage management system were able to keep trucks and crews rolling to outages.
“On July 12, lightning hit near our radio tower and damaged our phone system, radio system and vehicle tracking system,” said Jake Joplin, CEO and General Manager at the cooperative. “If that had happened before we added the outage management system (OMS), we would have been severely hampered in making a rapid response.
AMI meters send alarms when an outage occurs. Through the OMS system, our dispatchers are alerted in real time. It also allows them to follow up with estimated restoration times and the causes of outages (when known), and combines the data so it can be presented on internal and public outage maps.
“We were in training on the system when this happened,” said CSR-Dispatcher Dorisa Sanders. “The phones went down, the radios went down, and people couldn’t call in to report their outages. But the system worked, and we were able to dispatch crews, mostly by cell phone. It paid for itself right then.”
“We were able to pinpoint outages, dispatch line crews and make repairs without co-op members having to call, which was critical since our phone system wasn’t working,” Joplin said. “This is a huge benefit, not only to the cooperative, but also to our members.”
Now, before members call to report an outage, they can check the online map (http://outage.carteretcraven.coop) first. That’s really helpful if our phones are very busy and for out-of-town property owners.
“We are making sure that we capture the full potential from and AMI system to improve service to our members,” Joplin said.