BEC Awarded FEMA Grant for Critical Communications Generator Project

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Bandera Electric Cooperative (BEC), a leading provider of electric services in the Texas Hill Country, is pleased to announce the receipt of a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant aimed at bolstering our critical communications infrastructure against natural disasters. The grant, totaling $799,248, was awarded by the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), covering 90% of the project costs, with BEC contributing the remaining 10%.

The funding will facilitate the installation of generators at 13 central office locations across our service area, ensuring uninterrupted communication capabilities during emergencies. A total of 15 generators, housed outside the respective office, will be sized appropriately to support all functions at each location including the running of air conditioning. The housing units for each generator will be protected against high winds and, if in a Special Flood Hazard Area, protected to the 500-year flood level. The generators will have underground electrical runs to tie into the central office and include the plumbing necessary to install propane tanks. Each location will also have the appropriately sized automatic transfer switch to seamlessly switch to backup power generation during emergencies that require the use of the generators.

Allen Marshall, Broadband Operations Director in Administration, expressed enthusiasm for the project's potential impact, stating, “These grants represent a significant investment in our community's resilience against natural disasters. By fortifying our communication infrastructure, we are better equipped to serve our members during times of crisis, ensuring continuity of essential services.”

Shane Schmidt, Chief Operating Officer of BEC, highlighted the importance of the initiative in maintaining communication channels during emergencies, stating, “The installation of generators at our central office locations underscores our commitment to ensuring that our members can rely on us, even in the most challenging circumstances. With this enhanced infrastructure, we can guarantee that telecommunications remain active, providing vital connectivity during natural disasters.”

The project aims to complete installation within the next three years, with the bulk of the work expected to be finalized by 2025. All installations will adhere to stringent safety standards, including protection against high winds and flood hazards, ensuring the longevity and reliability of the infrastructure improvements.
 
About Bandera Electric Cooperative
Bandera Electric Cooperative currently serves more than 28,000 members and provides electric service to 39,000 meters in a seven-county territory in the Texas Hill Country. As a member-owned cooperative, BEC continually searches for new, innovative programs to promote energy-efficiency and quality service. For more information, visit BanderaElectric.com or call 866.226.3372.
 
Posted Thursday, May 16, 2024