Student Utility Board learns about FPU’s electric department

Fayetteville Public Utilities (FPU) Student Utility Board (SUB) met on October 15 to learn how electricity is distributed, maintained and repaired. They also learned how each department relies on the other to keep electricity powering our community.

The student board started their day with a tour of FPU’s engineering department and dispatch. Dana Pollock, Engineering Supervisor, explained the engineering department’s responsibilities, including working with customers on new construction and renewable energy projects. She also talked to the students about the importance of tree trimming and showed some examples of common causes of power outages.

Pollock also explained the digital mapping system, which aids engineers when planning for new electric construction and provides service crews with detailed information about a customer’s existing service.

The students then met Lewis Steelman, Electric Operations Superintendent and Electric Supervisor Mike Buntley to learn about the tools and equipment used for building and maintaining electric lines. Steelman and Buntley explained how the job’s dangers have changed over the years and demonstrated new equipment that is keeping them safe.

The SUB members rounded out the day with a tour of the Hamilton Substation and switch house led by Ron Thomas, Substation and Metering Supervisor. There they learned about how electricity is delivered from TVA and distributed throughout the community.

“I enjoyed learning more about the substation and hearing about all the different jobs that are required to power the community,” said SUB member Garrett Davis.

Students will learn more about FPU’s natural gas department at their November meeting and visit a natural gas gate station.