BrightRidge & TVA to cut ribbon on Smart Poles project Saturday morning at Founders Park


JOHNSON CITY – BrightRidge and the Tennessee Valley Authority will cut the ribbon Saturday morning at 11 a.m. on 49 “Smart” Poles that have been installed just in time for the holidays at Founder’s Park and King Commons in downtown Johnson City. The ribbon cutting will occur during the Holiday Market at the Founder’s Park Pavilion, with BrightRidge CEO Jeff Dykes and Georgia Caruthers, TVA Senior Project Leader for Connected Community, hosting the event.

Smart Poles will monitor flood sensors installed along Brush Creek running through the parks, while also providing loudspeakers for music or emergency alerts, 4-color LED lights and smart sensors, including pedestrian count sensors.

“We are pleased to inaugurate the new smart poles in Founder’s and King Commons parks partnering with TVA, the City of Johnson City and the Electric Power Research Institute as we work together to better understand how technology can enhance the community experience and enhance efficiency,” BrightRidge CEO Jeff Dykes said. “At a minimum, we know this installation will boost the visitation experience for park guests, both visually and audibly, while also keeping visitors safer by providing a means of notification in the event of adverse weather and allowing the City to better gauge response to event activities by gathering data on foot traffic inside the parks.”

As part of the project, the Electric Power Research Institute will evaluate the impact of the poles over the next two years and report back on the project impact including providing data on energy usage, Dykes said. The project was budgeted at $500,000, including $335,000 for equipment and poles and $165,000 data collection and analysis. In all, seven poles were retrofitted or installed new at King Commons, while 36 poles were retrofitted, and six new poles were installed at Founder’s Park.

About BrightRidge

BrightRidge is a publicly owned electric utility serving 83,671 customers in Washington, Sullivan, Carter and Greene counties. It is the 10th largest local power company in the Tennessee Valley Authority service area. BrightRidge Broadband, a division of BrightRidge, offers nation-leading 10GB symmetrical fiber-to-the-premise services to more than 30,000 locations in its service area.