This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Commentary


The uses of drones for electric co-ops One of Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives,


D


Chris Meyers General Manager, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


rones, also known as un- manned aeri- al vehicles or


UAVs, are one of the most innovative developments in the aviation industry. Drones go back to the early 1900s, but as tech-


nology advances, this leading-edge device shows increased value for electric cooperative systems. As leaders in the development and implemen- tation of new technologies, electric cooperatives support tools that benefi t the member at the end of the line. This commitment is evident as coop- eratives conduct research and support legislation aimed at lessening restrictions for drone usage. This pilot-free tool is controlled by an operator on the ground or can be programmed to fl y on its own. Research shows this technology can help save operational costs for electric cooperatives in line inspection efforts such as the assessment of infrastructure repairs and maintenance, ultimate- ly boosting a co-op’s system reliability. In addi- tion, drones foster safety by reducing risks for co-op line personnel. Drones also aid coopera- tives in reducing outage restoration times.


Central Electric Cooperative based in Stillwater, is utilizing drone technology as part of its outage response unit. Video footage is streamed to ana- lysts in the co-op’s Systems Operation Center. Central Electric is also collaborating with Oklahoma State University’s Unmanned Systems Research Institute (USRI) on further research. Central’s current use of drones falls under the regulations of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but a special exemption for commercial use will be needed for its full integration into the cooperative’s daily operations. In April, Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Inhofe,


R-Okla. and Cory Booker, D-N.J. championed a bill that would ease current restrictions on drones. The bill, which calls for the FAA to set up a pro- cess to enable companies with critical infrastruc- ture to use drones, passed the U.S. Senate and is headed to the U.S. House of Representatives. This investment in a newer form of technology is an example of how electric cooperatives take proactive steps to implement tools for the benefi t of their members. As technology continues to advance, rest assured your local electric coopera- tive will make informed decisions on behalf of each member at the end of the line.


Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives Chris Meyers, General Manager Gary McCune, President


Scott Copeland, Vice-President Larry Hicks, Secretary Tim Smith, Treasurer


Staff


Sid Sperry, Director of PR & Communications sksperry@oaec.coop


Anna Politano, Editor editor@ok-living.coop


Shannen McCroskey, Marketing Specialist smccroskey@ok-living.coop


Kirbi Mills, Director of Admin. Services kmills@oaec.coop


Hillary Barrow, Admin. Services Assistant hbarrow@oaec.coop


Hayley Leatherwood, Multimedia Specialist hleatherwood@ok-living.coop


Taryn Sanderson, Editorial Intern intern@oaec.coop


Editorial, Advertising and General Offi ces P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154 Phone (405) 478-1455


Oklahoma Living online: www.ok-living.coop Subscriptions


$3.48 per year for rural electric cooperative members.


$7 per year for non-members. Cooperative Members: Report change of Be an engaged cooperative member I


Gary McCune President, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


t’s the time of year when many of our electric cooperatives hold annual meetings. As you read this editorial, Central Electric—where I serve as board trustee—will have just completed its meeting. This is an exciting time for co-op members to


come together and hear about the success of the past year and the vision and challenges that we may face in the upcoming year.


Many electric cooperatives use this opportuni- ty to elect board trustees who represent the mem- bers’ views and are stewards of their local co-op. Some cooperatives utilize the meeting to simply inform their membership of the fi nances of the organization and pass out door prizes (who doesn’t like to have their name called and take home something new?). Other co-ops may use this opportunity to provide health screenings for their members or to introduce new technologies


4


that are emerging in the marketplace. As you will see in some of the featured articles in this month’s edition of Oklahoma Living, we have highlighted community heroes. At Central Electric’s Annual Meeting, we took the opportu- nity to recognize “Bold Leadership.” Six individ- uals from six communities that we serve were nominated and selected to receive this recogni- tion. They were selected based upon their life- long contributions to each community and for their innovations to improve the quality of life in their areas. These individuals certainly serve as an example for what it takes to be an effective leader. Whatever the purpose, it is important that you participate in the affairs of your cooperative. Cooperatives exist for the purpose of serving their members and if you do not stay informed and engaged, the quality of the cooperative busi- ness model suffers. I encourage you to attend your co-op’s annual meeting, let your voice be heard and know that your co-op continues to have your best interest at heart.


address to your local rural electric cooperative. Non-Cooperative Members: Send address


changes to Oklahoma Living, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.


Oklahoma Living (ISSN 1064-8968),


USPS 407-040, is published monthly for consumer-members of Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives, 2325 E. I-44 Service Road, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.


Circulation this issue: 322,130


Periodical postage paid at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Association of Electric


Cooperatives is a statewide service organization for the following electric cooperatives: Alfalfa, Arkansas Valley, Caddo, Canadian Valley,


Central Rural, Choctaw, Cimarron, Cookson Hills, Cotton, East Central Oklahoma, Harmon, Indian, KAMO Power, Kay, Kiamichi, Kiwash, Lake Region, Northeast Oklahoma, Northfork,


Northwestern, Oklahoma, Ozarks, People’s, Red River Valley, Rural, Southeastern, Southwest


Rural, Tri-County, Verdigris Valley, and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142