Equipment and Technology

Equipment & Technology Reduce Costs

Platte-Clay has installed state-of-the-art equipment to help minimize outage restoration time, to help members manage their account and energy use and to save on your cooperative’s operating expenses, which helps keep rates low.

Increasing efficiency is the name of the game.

By digitizing the detailed service area maps and identifying the electric system components by location, crews can identify damaged equipment, take the necessary replacement components to the location and restore service quicker, thus reducing outage time.

The automated telephone system and computerized database allows members to manage their account by phone or computer, saving personal time. Levelized (budget) billing allows members to pay the same amount for a year, with the electric bill withdrawn from a checking or savings account each month.

 

Digital meters

Platte-Clay continues to replace its digital meters, changing out the older digital meters that have been used since 2004.

Co-op employees will knock on the door to let co-op members know they are on premise. If there is no answer, they will replace the meter, causing a momentary outage and leave a door hanger explaining the reason for the visit.

Meter change outs will continue during regular working hours, Monday-Friday. The co-op anticipates having all meters updated by 2019.

Aclara, the co-op’s meter company, provided this background information on the safety of the digital, power line meters.

Please call the office, 816-628-3121, if you have questions.

 

Renewable Energy – Wind

Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative’s power supplier, Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AECI) signed a 20-year contract with Wind Capital Group, a Missouri corporation, to purchase wind from the first three commercial wind farms developed in Missouri. These wind farms provide enough power for 45,000 Missouri rural cooperative homes, according to AECI.

The first wind farms, located in Gentry, Atchison and Nodaway Counties, produce about 157 megawatts of electricity. The wind farms were financed by John Deere Wind Energy, a Deere & Co., unit.

Since then AECI has contracted to buy power from three more wind farms:  a fourth Missouri wind farm, BP Wind Energy’s 300- MW Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm in south-central Kansas, and a 150-MW Osage Wind Farm in Oklahoma.

Wind energy benefits include reasonably-priced, green, renewable energy; it displaces more expensive natural gas-based generation; helps with economic growth in rural Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and helps meet the growing need for more electricity. Today the wind farms are providing reliable base-load power and all together can serve about 142,000 co-op member homes of the nearly 900,000 homes in the Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma co-ops AECI serves.

 

Renewable Energy – Individual Green Power Program

Platte-Clay members may opt to go 100 percent in renewable energy in their home or business. The wind energy will come from wind farms that supply energy to Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc., (AECI), your co-op’s power provider. There is a 12-month commitment and an additional cost of $0.025 per kWh.

Click here to learn more about the program.

Click here to download the contract form. Please complete, mail and return to Platte-Clay, PO Box 100, Kearney, Mo., fax, 816-628-3141 or drop it by either office.

 

Renewable Resources

For information on companies that can assist with members renewable energy and net metering in Missouri, please visit the Missouri DNR at http://www.dnr.mo.gov/pubs/pub1292.pdf

For information on renewables, visit

Renewables

www.nrel.gov

www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energyfacts/sources/renewable/renewable.html

www.eere.energy.gov

Geothermal Energy

How Geothermal Energy Works

Solar Energy

www.ases.org

www.solarenergy.org

 

Two-Way Auto Communication System (TWACS) Saves Operating Costs

Early to adopt an efficient two-way automatic communications system, Platte-Clay rolled out the new two-way communication system (TWACS) meters to members in a three-year project beginning in 2004. The meter change-over was completed in 2006, the end of an era that required members to read their own meters each month.

The benefits of the TWACS meters are increased efficiency, accuracy and reduced costs.

TWACS meters operate by sending a signal over the existing power lines from the meter directly to the co-op. Developed by St. Louis, Mo.-based Aclara, formerly called Distribution Control Systems, the meters give the co-op comprehensive location data, including use, for the monthly billing.

One of the important member benefits is the ability to use TWACS to detect and verify outages. In addition, the system is interconnected via the interactive voice response (IVR) unit–the automated telephone system–to the co-op’s online outage map which tells dispatchers where crews are needed. In short, it gives members the same outage information as the co-op dispatchers. Members can check on co-op outages and know that an outage in their area has been reported and follow along as service is restored.

Other operational benefits provide increased efficiency and accuracy, real time meter readings, monitoring voltage and blinking lights, remotely connecting and disconnecting meters and detecting meter tampering.

In short, Platte-Clay has added technology to its operations to help increase efficiency, thus saving on operating costs by blending resources and databases which helps increase reliability and reduce outage time.

 

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System

The Interactive Voice Response System (IVR) is a powerful and efficient customer service tool that allows members to access their account, to pay their electric bill, to find out their account balance and when necessary, to quickly and easily report an outage.

The system can process 20 calls at a time, thus reducing delays and unanswered calls. The IVR ties to the electronic database that logs outage locations, a feature particularly important during a widespread outage, usually caused by strong storms rolling through the Northland.

The IVR prompts members to enter their location or phone number. Once logged into the system, each outage report is plotted on an electronic map which helps dispatchers coordinate crews and repairs with real-time information.

Members who use the IVR assist in pinpointing problems, ultimately reducing outage time. Using the IVR system to collect standard data associated with an outage allows dispatchers to work with crews who will be methodically restoring service.

The system has the capability of telling members that an outage has been reported and can make outbound follow-up calls, if necessary, to confirm that service has been restored.

 

Geographic Information System

This sophisticated system uses the Global Positioning System to provide an accurate and detailed description of all electrical system components, including model, age, location and preventative maintenance schedules.

The GIS system is particularly important during an outage, as it gives the line crews the specific equipment needed to restore service.

All line technicians are equipped with rugged laptops and now have access to the electronic database that includes a frequently-updated map and Platte-Clay’s GIS data.


Geographical Information System (GIS) map