Utility & Communication Structures Council
The Utility & Communication Structures Council (UCSC) is one of ACMA's Composites Growth Initiative (CGI) Committees. This specialty industry committee is focused on growing the use of composites utility poles, cross arms, light poles and other communication structures to utility engineers. The Council is working to develop a national utility pole standard to promote composites to utility and structural engineers.
The mission of the UCSC is to improve power delivery and communications infrastructure by promoting the use and understanding of composite poles and crossarms for electrical distribution, transmission and communications structure applications. Coordinate the development and promotion of composites technology materials and products used in these markets. Undertake proactive activities dealing with education, legislative, regulatory, marketing, and development of codes and standards. Engage government agencies and legislators to influence legislation and identify programs and solicit funding to facilitate the specification of composites technology. Communicate product innovations and successes in the marketplace and to the public in general through trade and consumer press and media.
There are currently 16 companies that belong to ACMA's Utility & Communication Structures Council. Seven are fabricators; the remaining are material suppliers and distributors.
ACMA Staff LiaisonAndrew Huber
Manager, CGI Committees
The UCSC has focused its attention on outreach and standards development. This focus has led to many productive meetings with Congress, government officials, and trade associations.
UCSC leadership conducted a meeting with Deputy Assistant Secretary, Infrastructure Security and Energy Restoration at the Department of Energy to introduce composites and composite electrical utility poles to help with building a better electrical grid. As a result of the meeting with DOE, that UCS-WG was asked to compile information to help DOE understand how FRP composites perform. This led to a follow-up meeting and the development of a White Paper which will be submitted to the Department of Energy encouraging a national laboratory to conduct a first-of-its-kind multi-material study comparing composite utility poles against their wood, steel, and concrete counterparts.
UCSC leadership met with the Branch Chiefs of the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The RUS and UCSC agreed to work together to develop industry standards, collect industry performance information, and propose specification procedures for electrical co-ops to purchase FRP poles.
The UCSC briefed the House Energy and Commerce Energy and Power Subcommittees about the benefits of copmosite utility structures, and received a very positive reception.
UCSC members also met with the T&DEC Transmission Subcommittee of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). A draft FRP composites transmission pole standard was presented to the committee for review.
ACMA and members of the UCSC are also active in the National Electric Safety Code and have work diligently to not only include FRP composites into the code, but ensure strength factors to be equivalent to steel.
Future work of this committee will be to develop an ANSI approved, FRP composites utility pole standard to provide the foundation for future standards and specifications.
Become a Member
The Utility & Communication Structures Council is open to any member of the American Composites Manufacturers Association interested in growing composites utility and communication structures. Dues for the Council are $500. All funds raised by the Council are reserved exclusively for projects voted on by the Council membership. For more information or to apply for membership, please contact Andrew Huber.