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News & Updates

Foster Campbell announces support of electric cooperative internet projects

At a press conference held on October 6, Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell announced his support of Claiborne Electric Cooperative and Northeast Louisiana Power Cooperative providing affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband internet service in the areas where they provide electric service.

Claiborne Electric General Manager & CEO Mark Brown said this support is vital to the proposed fiber-to-the-home broadband project the cooperative has been working on for the past three years.

“We express our sincere thanks for Commissioner Campbell’s support of our project,” Brown said. “Without his endorsement, our proposal wouldn’t be able to get off the ground. With his help, we will now be able to provide desperately needed, genuine broadband access to thousands of homes and businesses across our service area.”

Campbell said during the next 10 years, federal agencies are expected to distribute more than $600 million to expand Louisiana’s high-speed internet service. Campbell said he now supports and urges electric cooperatives to compete for that funding.

“These are our tax dollars,” he said.  “Few public needs are as vital right now as broadband access, so we should fight to capture these dollars for our state.

“So much of our education, health care, and commerce is now conducted on-line, so reliable, fast and affordable internet service is needed in every household and every community.”

Campbell said he will ask the PSC this month to support proposals by Claiborne Electric and Northeast Power to create subsidiary companies that will offer internet service in their regions.  The Louisiana co-ops are part of a trend across the country of electric cooperatives entering the broadband business. Currently, more than 100 electric cooperatives nationwide have thriving internet subsidiaries.

“Rural residents and business owners in North Louisiana have received reliable and reasonably priced electric service from these co-ops for decades,” Campbell said.  “I believe they can count on the same for internet service.”

My lights are out! Now what?

Electricity powers our lives. We depend on it for nearly everything we do. So we understand how frustrating it can be when you’re left in the dark.

Power outages are never convenient. It takes a lot of hands to keep your power on, and even more hands to get it up and running when an outage occurs. Claiborne Electric Cooperative works hard to restore your electric service when outages occur, but there are necessary steps to take to ensure that power is restored to the majority of members as quickly, and as safely, as possible.

After a major storm, our line crews must identify which infrastructure has incurred damage. Sometimes, transmission towers and lines can be damaged. Transmission lines deliver power to substations. Most of the transmission lines delivering power to Claiborne Electric’s substations are owned by a separate transmission company. We pay this company a fee to deliver power from our power supplier near Baton Rouge to our substations along their transmission lines. If there is damage along these transmission lines, there is no power being delivered to our substations. Repairing damage to transmission lines is the first necessity when it comes to restoring power.

Next, damage must be assessed and repaired at Claiborne Electric’s substations. These substations serve thousands of members each. If the issue is isolated and can be resolved at the substation level, great! That means thousands of people can get their power restored at once.

At times, the issue cannot be isolated to one of our distribution substations. If that is the case, crews inspect supply lines between the substations and the meters they serve. If the supply lines can be repaired, power can be restored to the towns and homes those lines serve, as long as there is no damage to the tap lines.

Tap lines carry power to the transformers outside homes and other buildings. Line crews identify which damaged lines to work on first based on which lines can receive power, and which ones will restore power to the greatest number of members.

Sometimes, the service line between a member’s meter and the transformer is damaged. Have you ever lost power only to look next door and see the lights still blazing from your neighbor’s window? This is what we refer to as an individual or single outage. If this happens, report it so we know we have individual damage in the area that will require the attention of a line crew.

Power restoration can be a tricky business, so if you lose service in your home or neighborhood please remember the following:

  • Stay clear of downed power lines. Contact with these lines could be life threatening.
  • Report the outage to by using our free SmartHub app or calling 800-900-9406 as soon as possible.

Click here for a model of the power restoration process: Power Restoration handout

Thank You

Thank you.

Those two words don’t seem adequate. In the wake of Hurricane Laura, most parts of our service territory were left sitting in destruction we haven’t seen in decades. On August 27, when the storm left our area after four hours of sustained 70-90 MPH winds, 98% of our meters had no electric service.

Restoration efforts began immediately, and we have many to thank for their help in that tremendous task. First, we would like to thank our employees for their unending loyalty and dedication to our cooperative and its members. They worked from before sunrise to well after dark for ten days, away from their families, and we are proud they wear a uniform with our logo on the chest. We would also like to thank our members for their help, their patience, and their support and provision during the outages and clean-up left by the storm.

We have so many others to thank. Local organizations stepped up to help provide services and supplies for us to do our jobs well. Contractors and crews from our sister cooperatives came from across the state and from other states to bring extra hands and a lot of equipment in order to help restore power to our members. The following is a list of the organizations, cooperatives, and contractors we would like to thank for their help:

Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives
Jeff Arnold and staff at ALEC
Aaron Graham, ALEC
Oklahoma Electric Cooperatives
Choctaw Electric Cooperative
Cotton Electric Cooperative
East Central Electric Cooperative
Rural Electric Cooperative
Arkansas Electric Cooperatives
ECHO Powerline, LLC
VOLT Power
Sparks Energy, Inc.
Town of Farmerville – Works Department
Randy Wright – Fast Pak Catering
Claiborne Parish Schools
Claiborne Parish Police Jury
Union Parish Police Jury
Webster Parish Police Jury
Lincoln Parish Police Jury
Alpha Energy Services
Red Rock Rentals
Homer Seafood
Bernice Pharmacy
Ol’ West Barbeque
Lee Baby’s
Dwayne and Kyle Woodard

Claiborne Parish Sheriff Sam Dowies & Deputies
Lake D’Arbonne State Park
Shaun Kafka and Harris Baptist Camp
Coca-Cola Bottling Company
Rolling Hills Ministries
Louisiana Bridge, Inc.
Ridge Rentals, LLC
Mamoo’s Catering
Big Star – Terry Morris
Dear Hometown Donuts
Homer McDonalds
Piggly Wiggly
Homer Motor Supply
Marsalis Crossroads
Paron Baptist Church
FBC Farmerville
Read’s Lumber
Tidy Bubbles
Crump Oil
Ronnie McKenzie
Tommy Sanders
Dennis Butcher
Tommy Sevin
Keith Cook
Mary Jane Pace
Lynn Ramsey
Jeanette Zachry

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