Recently, CommScope exhibited during the TechAdvantage show in Orlando. The show caters to electric cooperative engineering, energy services, operations, and purchasing and supply management professionals. During the show, one major issue seemed to be on the minds of all the electric utilities—the
continued rise in copper thefts.
Steve Oaks blogged about cooper theft on
Feb. 9, 2011. In his blog, he said that a survey conducted by the Electrical Safety Foundation International found that 95% of electric utilities have been victims of copper theft. This issue isn’t going away anytime soon, especially with the price of copper still hovering around $4 a pound.
Copper theft was front and center during the show and even
RE Magazine took notice. John Lowery, a regular contributor to RE Magazine, interviewed Steve Oaks and Richard Lopez, acting general manager, Socorro Electric Cooperative. Richard is a huge supporter of GroundSmart™ Copper Clad Steel from CommScope. His co-op serves a remote/rural region of New Mexico. Socorro has been robbed numerous times of its copper grounding wire, and on several occasions, thieves broke into the co-op’s transformer yard and storage facility to steal it. Thieves also slipped bundles of copper wiring right off of work trucks and even tried to rip it off utility poles.
Richard attended the TechAdvantage show and John and RE Magazine took a few minutes to interview him and Steve. In the video posted in this blog,
Richard talks about the co-op’s frustration with copper thieves and its decision to invest and use GroundSmart Copper Clad Steel. VIDEO
In fact, when thieves returned to steal copper from Socorro’s remote lines, they quickly learned that something was wrong. After trying to remove the wiring from five poles, they figured out the new cabling was not pure copper but instead GroundSmart Copper Clad Steel. The
thieves left without stealing the new cabling.
Steve also gives a brief demonstration of what GroundSmart Copper Clad Steel looks like and its latest feature—the polyethylene coating that enhances the GroundSmart solution portfolio while further deterring copper thieves.
I’d like to thank RE Magazine and John Lowery for shooting the video and I’d also like to thank Richard Lopez for supporting CommScope and GroundSmart Copper Clad Steel.