In response to concerns regarding recent power outages in the Woodruff community, Duke Energy has provided insights into the situation, outlining both the causes of the outages and the steps being taken to enhance the reliability of the power grid.
The Woodruff Times recently reached out to Duke Energy with a series of questions, to which the company responded with valuable information shedding light on the situation.
Ryan Mosier, Duke Energy, Corporate Communications, writes, “In Spartanburg County – and across the Upstate – Duke Energy is working to make the power grid stronger, smarter, and more resilient. We’re preparing for storms before they happen and working to meet the county’s growing energy demands.
Earlier this year, our engineers recognized reliability improvement opportunities for the Woodruff area.
To improve service to our customers there, we have made pole and line upgrades and are in the process of performing vegetation-based improvements (trimming trees around power lines and equipment). That’s why residents have likely seen Duke Energy and Sumter Utilities trucks and crews every day throughout the county.
Part of the work to upgrade lines and equipment will optimize the performance of substations in the area. We are replacing aging poles and wires with stronger equipment that will better resist storms and increase the capacity of the power provided to Woodruff customers to accommodate current and future growth in the region.
When Duke Energy lineworkers do this dangerous work, it is important to implement stringent safety protocols. Part of that includes increasing the sensitivity of safety mechanisms in place to protect workers. Unfortunately, that can also mean an increased possibility of short-duration power outages when a tree limb or traffic accident impacts points on the circuit in question. We have completed extensive upgrades this year on the three main circuits that serve the greater Woodruff area, and we expect customers will see increased reliability in their neighborhoods moving forward.
Additionally, we are adding smart, self-healing technology to the grid across the county. This technology automatically detects outages and quickly reroutes power to restore service faster or even avoid outages altogether. Self-healing technology can reduce the impact of outages by up to 75 percent and often restores power to affected customers in less than a minute.
Last year in Spartanburg County, self-healing technology helped to automatically restore more than 7,000 customer outages and saved nearly 14,000 hours of total lost outage time. More than 50 percent of this saved outage time was during a major storm.
This is an example of just some of the ongoing work Duke Energy is undertaking to build a stronger, more reliable energy future for Woodruff and Spartanburg County. These improvements will build the grid’s capacity and make it more resilient to weather events and support the booming economy of the county. More than anything, we’re making sure there’s power there when you need it.”