As we approach the end of 2019, I’d like to update you, our members, on some of our projects and accomplishments this year.
Little River began installing an AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) system in late 2019. Now near completion, this project will provide us with a lot of valuable data. The system will allow us instantaneous readings for billing and helpful information such as voltage, current and blink counts. Those, in turn, help us provide better power quality and reliability.
AMI also has notification ability for outages. It will be integrated with our existing outage management and consumer information system to give our crews valuable data when restoring power.
Once installation is complete, AMI will also allow us to offer other programs, such as pre-pay. Pre-pay allows members to purchase a specific amount of electricity and receive notifications when they need to buy more. This will decrease costs for members who otherwise would have to pay a large security deposit. Pre-pay will cut costs for the cooperative on collection of past-due accounts.
Maintaining our system
In 2018, Little River enhanced our right-of-way clearing program by adding another crew. This crew, along with our other contract crew, has made great strides in moving our program to a five- year cycle for the system. Approximately 200 miles of line out of our Abbeville substation were cleared this year. At this time, work out of our Donalds station is near completion. Right of way along lines out of Crescent is halfway done.
Our crews have been replacing poles across our electric distribution system. An annual inspection revealed poles that no longer met our standards. We inspect and replace one substation at a time. Poles that are not rejected are treated to extend their useful life. This reduces costs and improves efficiency as we maintain the system.
As with pole and line inspection on our overhead system, we’ve had a crew inspecting and painting equipment on the underground part of the system as well. Part of this process includes infrared, testing of components, and a visual inspection. Substations and other equipment located on the lines get a good check, too.
Maintaining your electric system is a large undertaking and responsibility for our employees. Think of it like maintaining your car: Preventative maintenance keeps it running reliably.
It’s been a real pleasure to serve you in 2019. We look forward to another solid year of progress in 2020, when we will observe Little River’s 80th anniversary. We’re not quite done with 2019, of course. Here’s one more bit of business: In observance of the holidays, our office will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 28–29, as well as Christmas Eve and Day, plus New Year’s Day. As always, crews will be on standby. On behalf of all of us at Little River Electric, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season.
Mike Ellis, General Manager