Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Smart-grid technology stops 280,000 hours outage for Georgia Power

Steve Rogerson
September 6, 2016

Atlanta-based utility Georgia Power says investments in smart-grid technologies have helped the company avoid more than 280,000 total hours, or 17 million minutes, of potential power outages for customers so far this year.
Technologies include automatic fault location, isolation and service restoration (FLISR), automatic switching devices and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). They help Georgia Power pinpoint the location of an issue, more efficiently dispatch crews and reduce overall outage durations for customers.
More than 1.2 million customers across the state are connected to an automated network with new upgrades and projects underway every day to ensure the state's transmission and distribution network remains as reliable as possible. Georgia Power says its network is one of the most advanced in the country with more than 715 self-healing circuits that can automatically isolate problems and restore power to unaffected areas.
"We understand that when the power is out, every minute counts for our customers," said Leslie Sibert, vice president of distribution for Georgia Power. "The investments we've made in our system are helping us fulfil our commitment to our customers to minimise outages, while keeping our rates as low as possible."
In addition to new smart grid technologies, Georgia Power has invested more than $1bn over the past five years on equipment and facility improvements including cyber and physical security, modernisation of grid protection and control systems, and replacement of aging infrastructure such as power poles, wires and underground cables.
Georgia Power offers a variety of free tools and resources to keep customers informed and connected including the online Outage & Storm Center. The centre lets customers check the status of an outage, and includes an interactive outage map that provides updates on where outages are occurring across the state and estimated restoration times.
Customers can visit the site to sign up for free outage alerts, personalised notifications about outages via phone, text message or email. The company also engages with thousands of customers in real time every day on social media, including Facebook and Twitter.
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the USA's largest generators of electricity.