With significant coastal exposure in multiple states in the Southeast, as well as a Midwest service area that regularly sees winter and high wind events, Duke Energy is no stranger to extreme weather. That’s why the company is making significant resiliency improvements to reduce outages and restore power faster when storms and outages occur.
Using advanced data analytics, system planners can identify specific locations – even down to spans of wire – where grid improvements are needed. This information, further informed by extensive stakeholder engagement, has helped Duke Energy build a strategy to identify grid improvements that maximize benefits to communities, while keeping costs affordable for customers.
Through this multi-year grid improvement initiative, the company is upgrading utility poles and lines, placing outage-prone lines underground, protecting essential systems from threats like flooding and animal interference, strengthening the grid against physical and cyber threats, and adding smart technologies that can monitor the health of key systems and better manage the grid to make it more efficient and resilient when interruptions occur.
Duke Energy is also adding smart, self-healing technology that can automatically detect outages on main power lines and quickly reroute power to restore service faster. This smart technology can reduce the number of customers impacted by an outage by as much as 75 percent and can often restore power in less than a minute.
In 2020, self-healing technologies helped avoid more than 800,000 extended outages across the six states Duke Energy serves, saving customers more than 1.8 million hours of total outage time. The company hopes to serve most customers with self-healing capabilities over the next few years, giving crews a powerful tool to help reduce outage times and impacts.