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Oklahoma Utility Wants to Add More Smart Tech to Its System

Norman, Okla., was the first smart-city and first to deploy smart-meters in the state. The technology has allowed them to install infrastructure into the company's system, to improve reliability and resiliency.

by Katie Standlee, The Norman Transcript / October 11, 2019
Many utility companies are moving to smart meters like this one. Shutterstock

(TNS) — Oklahoma Gas &Electric is working to bring more technology into the electric system, a company leader said Thursday.

Brian Alford, OG&E director of corporate affairs, told representatives from about 30 social services agencies about the firm's community and company efforts. Thursday's Cleveland County Community Roundtable Luncheon.

The luncheon also included time for the social service representatives to share information about their programs.

Alford said Norman was the first smart-city and first to deploy smart-meters. He said the technology has allowed them to install infrastructure into the company's system, to improve reliability, resiliency and better manage their system.

Sate Sen. Mary Boren, D-Norman, asked what OG&E is doing to prepare for the potential increase in demand of electrical vehicles. Alford said the company has several peers that are looking into this on a daily basis. He said there have been several moves throughout the state in developing infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Norman is one of those cities, and is currently in the process of installing five new electric vehicle charging stations, which are anticipated to be ready sometime next year, according to city Public Works officials.

Alford also shared how community involvement is important to OG&E.

Each year OG&E employees are allowed 16 hours of paid leave to do volunteer work, which Alford said they've had a tremendous amount of success.

John Koons, OG&E Community Relations coordinator, said if anyone in the community has ways they would like for OG&E employees to volunteer their time to contact him directly.

"At OG&E Energy we think of our relationships with our communities and the organizations that serve our communities as partnerships," he said.

Alford also announced the continuation of the OGE Positive Energy Scholarship, which rolled out last year. Eligible applicants must be a high school senior who lives in the OG&E service area and intends on attending a university in Oklahoma or western Arkansas.

Three students are awarded $15,000 for four years through the scholarship, and the deadline is in the beginning of February.

The scholarship is managed by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, and is funded at the corporate level and not through utility expenses.

©2019 The Norman Transcript (Norman, Okla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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