Central Lincoln People's Utility District Coastlines newsletter - Central Lincoln People's Utility District

Fiber Optics

What We've Got

Central Lincoln People's Utility District (PUD) is a publicly-owned, not-for-profit electric utility serving a 120-mile-long section of the central Oregon coast. Our District includes portions of Lincoln, Lane, Douglas and Coos counties, and the cities of Depoe Bay, Siletz, Toledo, Newport, Waldport, Yachats, Florence, Dunes City and Reedsport. We have a fiber optic/microwave system that we use to communicate with our various offices, warehouses, substations, and other sites.

Parts of this system we've built on our own, and parts have been built as joint venture projects with other entities. The system has grown steadily as we've identified more communications needs to support our electric distribution system.

fiber optics

Our District has three main areas of operation...Newport, Florence and Reedsport. Our communications system currently consists of fiber optic cable systems in each of those three main areas, and those are linked together via our fiber optic cable and digital microwave equipment.

How We Use It

We use this communications platform in a variety of ways. It is the backbone of our Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. That system connects our electrical equipment in the field with a central office location. This allows us to reduce outage times, increase worker safety, extend substation equipment life, and improve system design efficiencies.

We also use the system for voice, data and radio communications. District-wide, our people and computers can communicate freely to reduce operational costs and increase responsiveness and reliability.

What's In The Future?

We are continuing to integrate our system more fully with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), from whom we purchase all of the electricity we distribute. This will allow for further efficiencies in power supply and transmission.

BPA currently has a fiber optic system that runs from the Willamette Valley, comes within a few miles of our Florence office, continues to the southern end of our District, and returns to the I-5 corridor.

We have built a fiber optic connection from our Florence office to the BPA fiber system. We also have built a fiber optic connection from our Northern Division termination point in Yachats to our Florence office. This provides a redundant path for District operational needs and a backup path for the digital microwave system.

Additionally, we plan to build fiber optic connections (spurs) from our substations to District fiber routes or BPA fiber routes. The four remaining spurs will bring additional substations into our SCADA system, and are part of our long-range plans.

Can Anyone Else Use It?

As this communications system is built and upgraded, it makes good economic sense to plan for the future by building more capacity than we need today. At times, then, we have surplus capacity that we're allowed by law to lease to outside entities. (Our Board of Directors must establish that there is, in fact, a surplus, and they also establish the rates.) It has been our practice to lease to cities, counties, and private telecommunications providers.

We cannot manage telecommunications for others, but can only lease "dark fiber." Any interconnection to our surplus dark fiber may necessitate a line extension, electronic equipment, and a co-location agreement. These costs must all be borne by the connecting entity, in addition to any dark fiber lease.

For More Information, Contact:

IT/Communications Dept.  •  Central Lincoln PUD  •  P.O. Box 1126  •  Newport, OR 97365  •  541-574-2006