Electric Cities of Georgia (ECG) and McLean Engineering, based in Moultrie, have teamed up on a new service offering.
Expanded Engineering Services is a roadmap to guide municipal leaders to wise, long-term investment planning for their utilities, according to a press release from McLean Engineering.
“These services help cities update and upgrade their utility mapping, system planning and operations to increase efficiency and reliability while decreasing costs and outage headaches,” the release said. They are designed to help cities large and small take the critical first steps toward grid modernization without busting city budgets.
“In light of the many recent natural disasters we’ve endured in the South, many cities have found themselves ill-prepared to handle mass outages,” said Michael McLean, president of McLean Engineering. “These services bring cities’ technology systems up-to-date, and also provide invaluable data to help them run more efficiently on a day-to-day basis.
In the first step of the program, GIS mapping, ECG and McLean Engineering create a GIS model of the electric distribution system stored in widely compatible open-standard software formats and available to all utility stakeholders via a cloud-based viewer. This data, which is accessible to utility personnel via the web, tablet computers, and smartphones, is particularly important for system restoration and rebuilding following outages or natural disasters.
During the second phase of Expanded Engineering Services, engineers construct a computerized model of the distribution system to assimilate location, billing and energy usage information into a complete picture of the distribution system.
In the third phase, the organizations deliver a five-year work plan for the city, including a prioritized list of recommended actions and budget estimates for each. This serves as a powerful planning and budgeting tool for city leaders based on sound engineering calculations.
In the fourth and fifth phases of the service package, the organizations use the System Model to perform studies that will ensure maximum system reliability, safety and efficiency. The fourth phase delivers a Sectionalizing Study which can reduce the overall number of system outages and number of people affected by each outage.
Finally, in the fifth phase, engineers conduct a valuable Power Factor Analysis to guide cities toward a greener, more energy-efficient grid. It pinpoints areas with the greatest amount of energy loss and recommends equipment and corrections to reduce energy wasted and lower utilities’ wholesale power costs.
“We are proud of the results these services deliver. ECG partners with municipal utilities around the state to provide value-added services. Partnering with McLean Engineering to offer Expanded Engineering falls in line with our strategy as an essential service provider. This service is an investment in a city’s most important asset – its’ utility,” said Keith Bass, ECG President and CEO.
Expanded Engineering Services are typically provided to client cities over a five-year timespan which includes GIS mapping, a system model, a five-year work plan, a sectionalizing study and a power factor analysis.
For more information about Expanded Engineering Services, check out the ECG website at www.ecoga.org.