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Improving Grid Resiliency

We're building a smart-thinking grid that will help increase efficiency and quality of service, prepare the grid for cleaner energy options, and restore power outages faster than ever.

To better serve customers when power outages occur, Duke Energy uses smart, self-healing technology that can automatically detect power outages and quickly reroute power to restore service faster or avoid the outage altogether.

We're adding groundbreaking technologies, such as remote sensors and monitoring, as well as advanced communication systems that deliver real-time information from thousands of points along the grid. This information allows the grid to make real-time decisions to keep power reliable.

While a self-healing system can't repair the physical damage to the power line that a human crew must repair, it can help to limit the number of customers who experience an extended outage because of the damage.

Benefits

  • Reduces the number of customers affected by a power outage by up to 75%
  • Isolates problem areas for quicker response and shorter outages for customers
  • Can often restore power in less than a minute
  • Improves grid resiliency and ability to recover from major storms and events
  • Helps achieve a cleaner, lower-carbon future by enabling the sustainable growth of renewable energy and distributed technologies, like battery storage and microgrids

In 2020, self-healing technologies in the Carolinas helped avoid more than 300,000 extended customer outages and saved more than 850,000 hours of total lost outage time.

Building a self-healing system

We are installing self-healing technology along our main power lines in communities across the Carolinas. Over the next few years, we hope to serve most customers by some form of self-healing capability. Most of that work will take place on main overhead power lines, but some work will take place in underground vaults in urban areas or along underground lines.

Crews will install a variety of improvements including automatic sensors and communication equipment, control boxes on poles, switching equipment and reclosers that can automatically restore power (like the breaker in your house) or reroute power to other power lines. In some cases, new power lines or poles will need to be built. This equipment helps improve response and speed power restoration when an outage occurs, like a tree falling on a line or a car hitting a pole.

 

Contact Us

If you have additional questions, please contact our Public Engagement Managers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Self-healing equipment is typically installed on utility poles, so customers will see utility bucket trucks, pole-setting equipment and the equipment being installed. Crews can often complete work on one pole in a single day, but it could take several weeks to install the complete self-healing system in the area. In some cases, new utility poles will need to be placed or existing poles replaced. In some instances, a new line may need to be constructed. Crews will work along the power line rights of way and, in some cases, may need access to backyards and other areas of the property to work on the line.

  • Traffic may be affected by power line improvement work for reasons such as: crews working near the road, lane closures, traffic flow changes and, in some cases, temporary road closures. We will work with property owners in the area, when needed, to notify them of closures and will use signage to clearly mark work zones and traffic flow changes.

  • Once the work is complete, if property is disturbed, we will restore the site as close as possible to pre-work conditions, including seeding and placement of straw in grassy areas. If additional concerns arise, or if the site requires additional work, we will work with property owners to address the situation.

  • We are making smart, strategic improvements across the state to help increase reliability; strengthen the grid against outages from severe weather and other impacts; expand cleaner energy options, like solar, battery storage and electric vehicles; and give customers more options and control over their energy use and tools to save money.

  • We want to keep you informed about work that may impact your property. We will attempt to notify you in advance of work taking place that involves digging, pole replacement, installation of new power lines or other major construction along easements that may be on your property. 

    In addition, some projects may include a local public engagement manager who will work directly with customers to address questions or concerns they may have about the project. If you have questions about planned work in your area, you may contact us and a representative will respond to you, typically within 24-48 hours.

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