With spring storm season in full swing and hurricane season approaching, Duke Energy says it’s installing new technology to up its response time to power outages.
“We recognize when power outages occur, our customers depend on us most to get their power restored,” said Brian Naumuk, vice president of customer delivery zone operations. “We are making upgrades across Cleveland County to strengthen the energy grid to reduce outages and restore power faster for customers.”
The company has begun installing self-healing technology that automatically detects power outages and quickly reroutes service when outages occur to restore power faster.
This smart technology helps reduce the number of customers affected by an outage and the duration of an outage, by restoring power often in less than a minute. Installation of this technology included new and upgraded power lines in some areas and automated controls to reroute power to other energy pathways when outages occur.
In 2020, self-healing technology helped to avoid around 300,000 extended customer outages in North Carolina and South Carolina, saving customers more than 1 million hours of lost outage time. Over the next few years, Duke Energy expects to install enough self-healing technology to serve most customers.
Crews have also upgraded poles in the area and replaced and upgraded power lines. These improvements help to strengthen the grid in Cleveland County, making it more resistant to outages from severe weather.
Duke Energy is making grid improvements across the state over the next few years. Throughout 2021, more than 7,000 customers in Cleveland County will benefit from additional grid improvements, with more planned in the years ahead, according to Duke Energy.
Trees were also trimmed in rights of way throughout the county and more tree trimming and removal will occur this year to further improve reliability.