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Greer (right) received the honor from Lineman Museum and Hall of Fame founder Andy Price.

“Tommy has dedicated his career and leadership abilities to educating, promoting and improving safety ... Heaven only knows the many lives that have been positively impacted by his efforts.”

NC’s Greer Inducted into Lineman’s Hall of Fame Tommy Greer, retired director of Job Training & Safety (JT&S) for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, was inducted into the International Lineman’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony on May 6 in San Antonio, Texas. The honor pays tribute to those linemen who continually excel in the call of duty and exemplify those qualities that establish the true nature of the brotherhood of electrical linemen (linemanmuseum.org). “This is a big honor, and it’s only possible because I had good people to work with in the JT&S group,” Greer said. Greer dedicated his 40-year career to the electric utility industry, starting as a line technician with Brunswick Electric in I977. After mastering line technician skills and providing leadership in line construction and field work, Greer strived for something more and followed a call to loss prevention and line technician education. He accepted a position with the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives in 1986 to provide

safety education and lineman training to employees across the state. Under his leadership, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives successfully created a lineman’s technician community college curriculum and founded an associate’s degree program. Additionally, he worked to create a national safety accreditation program, as well as the National Utility Training and Safety Education Association Internship program. “Tommy has dedicated his career and leadership abilities to educating, promoting and improving safety practices at the state, regional and national levels,” said Randolph EMC CEO Dale Lambert, who in his early days as an apprentice lineman was trained by Greer. “Heaven only knows the many lives that have been positively impacted by his efforts.” Greer retired last summer, but his legacy lives on, and he continues to consult and provide volunteer services in several capacities in loss control and utility line construction.

His daughter, Courtney Greer, recalled a visit to an electric co-op industry event shortly after her father’s retirement. A flood of co-op employees, many with tears in their eyes, shared countless memories and messages for Greer in his retirement. “I was humbled by how all of these individuals, men and women, had taken such good care of my father. They really cared for his well-being,” Courtney said. “I left that day with the feeling that all the days I have lived not knowing where my daddy was, what kind of day he was having — and all the numerous hours my mother, sister and I never had with my daddy as a result of his lifetime commitment in service to his people and profession — were completely worth the sacrifice.” To those lineworkers just starting their careers, Greer offers simple yet sage advice: “Pay attention. Don’t take shortcuts — it’s just not worth it. And look out for your fellow linemen.”

Cheesy Power The French are taking their love of cheese up a notch. A power plant in the French Alps is using a byproduct of Beaufort cheese—skimmed whey—to generate electricity. The whey is converted into biogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, which is fed into an engine to create steam. “Whey is our fuel,” project leader François Decker of Valbio, the bioenergy company that designed the plant, told the British newspaper The Telegraph. “It’s quite simply the same as the ingredient in natural yogurt.” Since coming online in 2015, the plant has produced an estimated 2.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, enough to supply a community of 1,500 people. 8  |  carolinacountry.com

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