Tuesday, September 16, 2014 · 3:27 a.m.
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EPB leaders celebrated a milestone in April 2012 with the completion of the final “smart switch” in the smart grid system. (Photo: Staff)

About 700 EPB customers lost power Wednesday night for about 30 minutes, but the city's smart grid minimized the outages. 

"The lights flickering are an indicator the smart grid automation systems kicked in and diverted power around a trouble spot," EPB spokesman John Pless said via email Wednesday night. "Without the smart grid, you likely would have been in the dark until crews found the problem and made repairs. Nowadays, many problems can be solved quickly with automation and ability of dispatchers to open and close switches remotely by computers." 

Pless said there was an issue at the 10th Street station, and it wasn't clear Wednesday night if it was weather- or equipment-related. 

The city's smart grid minimizes problems by finding the source of the outage and rerouting around that issue, limiting the number of people impacted. 

Chattanooga's smart grid has received national media attention in the past couple of years. For example, in November, a Wall Street Journal article discussed how some utilities, such as EPB, have "self-healing" systems that allow for quicker, more efficient power restoration after storms, such as Hurricane Sandy.   

In April 2012, crews installed the final smart switch to the city's system, according to Nooga.com archives. 

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