As the peak of hurricane season in North Carolina approaches, Pee Dee Electric remains focused on grid resiliency and preparedness efforts. This year-round effort to limit power outage events and recover quickly from those that do occur includes conventional efforts like tree-trimming to keep limbs away from power lines, as well as more modern efforts that incorporate advanced technologies and support our commitment to power a brighter energy future locally.
As technology evolves, we see new energy assets added throughout the electric system in households, businesses, substations, and elsewhere – often called “distributed energy resources” – as an exciting opportunity. These resources can be large enough to power several homes, like a microgrid or utility-scale solar farm, or as small as a smart thermostat inside your home. By working with electric cooperatives statewide and other partners, Pee Dee Electric is exploring opportunities to add flexible local resources to our energy toolbox and coordinate them to work together across the grid at scale. By integrating and synchronizing these assets, we can maximize the benefits to the grid and all cooperative members.
Resilience is one important benefit. Integrating grid resources closer to homes and communities provides local power options while also diversifying the resources we can call on to provide power. Statewide, electric cooperatives have integrated five microgrids that can power local areas when needed and also support the grid as a whole. While new resources support resiliency, we are proud that the grid today is already very reliable. Our reliability rate is 99.94%, and we will continue working to maintain and improve reliability and resiliency even further.
Coordinating distributed energy resources also supports our sustainability goals. Take solar power: It can present a challenge because it is only available when the sun is shining, but our members need reliable power all the time. By pairing solar generation with flexible resources such as batteries, Pee Dee Electric, and our power supplier can make intermittent generation sources into stronger grid assets while also increasing sustainability.
Managing costs to keep them as low as possible is always part of Pee Dee’s mission. As prices for new energy resources are coming down, the economics for implementation are improving. And, by deploying distributed resources in a coordinated way, we can use the grid more efficiently and better manage the energy that flows through the grid. Because cooperatives like Pee Dee Electric are not-for-profit and provide power at cost, savings directly benefit co-op members.
You can count on Pee Dee Electric to continue to take steps to enhance grid resiliency and deploy resources that bring real benefits to members.
These technologies also have created opportunities for our members, like you, to partner with us to achieve shared value. Pee Dee Electric’s community solar farm is one example where the cooperative gives members the opportunity to participate in a solar project at an affordable cost, especially if installing solar panels on a roof or on the ground is not possible. Electric vehicles also provide a big opportunity. Not only do EV drivers benefit from lower costs, reduced maintenance, better performance, zero tailpipe emissions and more convenience, but they can also sign up for our special rate.
By charging at home overnight, when most people are not using large amounts of power, EV drivers can save and the co-op can utilize its infrastructure more efficiently, which benefits all members. By adopting proven technologies and deploying distributed resources at scale, Pee Dee Electric can provide many benefits to members: added resilience, enhanced sustainability through renewable generation, optimization of the grid, cost savings, and new services for members, to name a few.
This storm season and beyond, as part of our Brighter Future vision, you can count on Pee Dee Electric to continue to take steps to enhance grid resiliency and deploy resources that bring real benefits to members.
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Pee Dee Electric is a not-for-profit organization which has been in business since 1939. Our goal is to provide reliable and dependable electric service for our members while providing legendary customer service throughout all levels of our organization. Visit our website to learn more.