Rapid City, SD
Black Hills Power is showcasing its newly remodeled Reliability Center.
The center went online in June 2012, merging the three utility companies of Black Hills Corp. into one safety and reliability monitoring system.
Senior program manager Julio "Mutch" Usera says monitoring the grid is like conducting an orchestra, but the customers never see the show. They just know their lights should turn on when the switch is flipped.
The operators are in charge of monitoring a billion watts of power for about 200,000 electric customers of Black Hills Power in Rapid City; Wyoming's Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power; and Black Hills Energy near Pueblo, Colo.
A wall of large monitors replaces the old green-board system that was cumbersome but reliable.