“The devastating damage caused by the ice storm is something we hope our customers will never experience again, and we prepare our system year-round to withstand the most severe storms,” said Eversource VP of Electric Operations Joe Purington. “Over the last ten years, we have made significant investments to harden the electric system and improve reliability, resulting in considerable progress to benefit our customers.
This includes relocating sections of our electric system out of wooded areas to roadside and installing taller, more durable structures, covered wire and modern technology on our system to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages for our customers.”
Among the most significant improvements following the 2008 ice storm is Eversource’s investment in a state-of-the-art System Operations Center that put all aspects of electric system operations and outage response under one roof.
Eversource’s system operators are able to assess outage reports, dispatch line crews and remotely isolate trouble spots and reroute power to customers by strategically implementing Distribution Automation (DA) technology. The energy company has installed hundreds of these smart switches on its system, dramatically reducing the number of customers impacted by power outages and making it possible to restore hundreds of customers within minutes of an interruption.
“Our customers depend on us to deliver the energy that powers their lives,” Purington added. “When severe weather strikes, we work around-the-clock to be there for our customers when they need us. The dedication of our employees combined with our commitment to utilizing new technology and strengthening and modernizing our electric system has resulted in tremendous gains in reliability for our customers.”
Significant investments in reliability since the 2008 ice storm include the following:
Robust tree trimming and hazardous tree removal programs ($44 million invested in 2018)
Outage Management System and enhanced outage map
State-of-the-art System Operations Center and mobile response units
Stronger, more durable poles and covered wires
Automated equipment at substations that allow system operators to identify issues as soon as they occur and reroute power to customers
Smart switches that isolate trouble spots, reducing the duration and frequency of power outages
Reconfiguration of electric system to create redundancy
Modern technology that enables customers to personalize how they receive important outage information and updates by selecting the method of contact that best suits their lifestyle—text message, email or phone call