Technology has spurred big changes to the way we communicate, socialize and do business, and now it’s driving changes to the interconnected electric grid and the way we all use electricity.
As your local electric provider, we are excited about that because those changes benefit you, our members. In fact, JOEMC is exploring, researching, and applying technologies that make better use of the grid and serve cooperative members in new ways. Because the impacts of technology on the grid and industry are happening rapidly, we want to help you understand them and what new benefits JOEMC is bringing to you.
Consider solar energy…it’s an emissions-free, renewable resource but it can also be costly and require proper placement. These factors make home solar arrays out-of-reach for many of our members, so many electric cooperatives, including JOEMC, are exploring the possibilities of breaking down the barriers associated with home installations and bringing you an alternative… building community solar farms throughout their service area that bring together hundreds of solar panels and allow members to subscribe to the energy produced by single or multiple panels. By incorporating this solar farm into the energy mix, the cooperatives and their members can participate in the solar energy movement and offset expensive peaks in power usage.
JOEMC implemented another energy-saving technology, Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR), during 2016. CVR is a power-saving innovation that optimizes voltage during peak demand times and, in the end, saves the co-op money by helping reduce our wholesale power bill– it can also help put downward pressure on future electric rates. CVR uses equipment that has been strategically placed along electric lines from a substation to monitor voltage levels. Specific equipment, called voltage regulators, control the voltage levels at substations. Because voltage no longer has to be kept higher than necessary at these substations, the co-op can reduce demand during peak-use times of the month when electricity is the most expensive.
Other new technologies bringing change include battery storage, smart meters, electric vehicles and the emerging concept of microgrids.
Today, consumers and power providers are working together to generate, deliver, store and use energy in smarter and more efficient ways. As technology changes what’s possible, JOEMC will continue to evaluate trends and incorporate features that will best serve you, while staying true to our purpose: to provide you power at the lowest possible cost and with the highest standard of service.