Central 维吉尼亚州 Electric Cooperative (CVEC) has embarked on an aggressive buildout of a system-wide fiber optic communication network that will provide badly needed high-speed communications across the electric distribution system. This new communication system will allow CVEC to improve electric operations for every CVEC member.
Having reliable communications available at every point on the system will increase the reliability of the electric system. High speed communications with substation and downline reclosers and circuit breakers will allow for data transfer that will help predict some outages from equipment failures or vegetation growth; the location of these potential faults can then be determined and corrections made before the outage occurs. 当中断发生时, their location can be determined more quickly and restoration can be made more quickly and safety using remote communications.
High-speed communications will be helpful in managing and reducing power costs. The ability to monitor and control voltage regulators downline as well as in the substations will allow for optimum voltage control during peak periods to reduce CVEC costs. The ability to have high-speed communication to each meter will allow for better load monitoring and will allow interactive load control for those members who choose to reduce load in return for monthly savings.
The communications system will also facilitate better integration of distributed resources especially with the advent of battery storage and the expanded use of electric cars.
光纤系统还将克服可靠性的不足, 在CVEC服务区可负担得起的高速互联网接入. 网络服务的销售将支付光纤系统的费用, which could not be paid for with the savings from the improved operations of the electric system alone.
维吉尼亚州 state regulations do not allow electric cooperatives to sell internet service, but they do allow electric cooperatives to own a subsidiary that may engage in any business legal in 维吉尼亚州. The intent of the rule is to assure that electric rates do not subsidize other business ventures.
这就是CVEC将光纤出租给其全资子公司的原因, 维吉尼亚州的服务, 该公司从事萤火虫光纤宽带业务SM. Firefly then provides telecommunications and internet services to CVEC and to the public.
CVEC is prohibited from providing its member list or sales leads to Firefly. 联合营销也被禁止, which is the reason Firefly pricing and other service information are not included with monthly bills and not on the CVEC webpage or CVEC 脸谱网 page. CVEC members who want to know more about the Firefly offerings should see its webpage at www.fireflyva.com 而不是调用CVEC.
CVEC intends to build fiber throughout its service area over a five-year period from 2019 through 2023. 该项目将耗资约1.2亿美元. 该项目将安装几乎4,000英里的光纤，为所有37人提供服务,000个CVEC账户.
扩建是在变电站区域的基础上进行的, generally following the same line paths as the electric distribution lines. 在有架空线路的地方，光纤是放在架空的吗. Where the electric lines are underground, the fiber is placed underground.
The order of the substation areas built out are based on building the lowest cost to serve areas first. This method is necessary to put the project on firm economic footing as quickly as possible. 有许多因素会影响服务成本:密度, 架空与地下建筑, 地形, 奖助金, 和其他因素.
CVEC is financing the fiber system with a $6600万年 RUS smart grid loan. This loan will provide enough funding to cover approximately the first three years of construction for the fiber project.
CVEC also has successfully pursued a number of outside sources of support to assure success for the fiber construction, 无论是直接为CVEC，还是与其子公司合作, 萤火虫光纤宽带SM.
In the FCC Connect America Fund auction in 2018, the companies were awarded $28.600万年 to provide broadband internet access to 10,827 homes and businesses. 这项奖励将以240张每月支票的形式支付给Firefly.
In 维吉尼亚州, CVEC has been awarded two 奖助金 from the 维吉尼亚州 Telecommunications Initiative (VATI). One is for construction at the Midway substation area and one is for construction in portions of the Columbia and Cunningham substations service areas in southeastern Fluvanna County. 中途岛大学的奖学金是30万美元，哥伦比亚大学的奖学金是64.1万美元.
除了总计1美元的VATI赠款.600万年, CVEC has been successful in receiving two 奖助金 from the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission (TRRC). One of these 奖助金 helped offset costs for the first substation area buildout in the 阿托 substation area and the second grant is for construction in the Pamplin substation area that touches portions of 阿托, 白金汉郡和爱德华王子郡.
CVEC and Firefly also have joint agreements with the counties of Albemarle, 阿默斯特, 阿托, 白金汉, 坎伯兰, Fluvanna, Goochland, and Louisa that will provide approximately $5 million in additional support spread over the first ten years of the project.
CVEC submitted a ReConnect Grant under the RUS program in 2019 and expects to hear a final decision on that application soon. CVEC submitted an application for a $14 million loan and $14 million grant in this program. 拨款区域将触及11个不同变电站区域的部分区域.
CVEC intends to continue to seek funds to offset the costs of construction of its fiber network to assure the financial viability of the project for its members.