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The Fayetteville Public Utilities Student Utility Board (SUB) got a close-up look at the natural gas and electric departments, learning how both energy sources are delivered to Lincoln County and visiting the Terry Avenue Gate Station and Hamilton Substation.
FPU’s J.W. Brown led the focus on natural gas which included a display of various pipes and equipment used in gas line construction. Students also learned how natural gas is used in homes and businesses and how affordable the service is.
SUB members then traveled to the Terry Avenue Gate Station to see how natural gas pressure is monitored and how it is distributed to FPU’s customers.
Brown also talked about natural gas safety, the importance of calling 811, the Tennessee One Call service, before digging and explained how FPU adds a non-toxic chemical called mercaptan to give natural gas a distinct odor to make detecting gas leaks easier.
“Everyone needs to be educated about natural gas,” says Brooke Mann, Student Utility Board member. “It’s very important to call 811 before you dig.”
This month’s SUB meeting focused on FPU’s electric department. The youth board listened as FPU’s Rickey Brown, Lewis Steelman and Dale Moran demonstrated the tools and safety equipment used on their jobs. Steelman also shared some of his experiences working as a lineman during storms and emergency situations with the group.
The youth board toured the Hamilton Substation, located along Wilson Parkway. Led by FPU’s Mike Endsley and Patrick Bradford, the board learned the purpose of the substation and how much electricity is delivered to our community via FPU power lines.
“It is always a great experience to get to explore parts of FPU that most people never get to see, like touring the electric substation,” says Olivia Paris, SUB member.
“I appreciate the opportunity to go into these restricted areas and learn about the utility system that serves us every day,” says Taylor Kidd, SUB member.
FPU’s Student Utility Board began in 2010. Each year the youth board includes seven high school seniors: three from Lincoln County High School; three from Fayetteville High School; and one student from Riverside Christian Academy.
Applications for FPU’s Student Utility Board are available at each high school’s office for the 2014-2015 school year.