Powering Music City and Ensuring Compliance with HCI

Boasting a proud place in America’s cultural heritage, Nashville, Tennessee, has earned its moniker of Music City. From the Grand Ole Opry to the Country Music Hall of Fame and many small stages in between, Nashville Electric Service (NES) powers it all.

Distributing electricity to more than 410,000 customers in central Tennessee, NES is one of the largest municipally-owned utilities in the United States. I know this organization intimately, having been here for more than 20 years. When I was first hired, I had never laid eyes on a server; our only tool was a laptop computer. Today, I oversee installation and maintenance of all operations data centers and communications circuits, including fiber and radio systems.

Times have changed, but the utility industry is slow to adopt new technology. That all changed for us in 2015 when North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) became responsible for compliance. Suddenly, we had to have systems in place to monitor and document actions, and hold onto that data for long periods of time to satisfy audits or face significant fines. We had to change our ways.