Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) is in the final stages of a $33 million program to upgrade and strengthen its delivery system across the state. Every year, CL&P begins preparations for the summer during the previous fall to reduce the possibility of service interruptions for customers.
"This is 'standard operating procedure' for us when it comes to getting ready for the summer months," said Ken Bowes, vice president for Energy Delivery Services at CL&P. "When our customers turn on the air conditioning, or any of their appliances, they expect the power to be there and it's our job to make sure it is."
CL&P has taken a number of steps to prepare for the peak demand summer months and better serve its 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns across Connecticut, including:
- Installing and replacing transformers at substations that serve the towns of Manchester, Greenwich, Stamford and Norwalk;
- Undertaking projects in 28 communities to increase circuit capacity - the ability to provide electricity to customers without compromising the delivery equipment when temperatures and electrical demand are at their highest;
- Performing inspections and follow-up maintenance on all distribution substations in areas where heavy customer demand is expected or where failure of a single piece of equipment would result in long interruptions to large numbers of customers;
- Performing maintenance and upgrades on urban underground electric delivery systems to strengthen them. This includes major underground improvements to systems in Bristol, Norwalk and Stamford;
- Verifying the integrity and efficiency of cooling equipment at all major substations to ensure the equipment will be appropriately cooled to avoid equipment failures from overheating while carrying peak summer loads;
- Conducting helicopter infrared surveys of the state's electric transmission lines (except for no-fly zones) and land-based infrared surveys of over 200 CL&P substations. These surveys test and verify the integrity of the connections on major electrical delivery systems and help CL&P identify potential trouble spots;
- Completing foot patrols of the transmission lines to inspect electrical equipment and structures;
- Installing new distribution equipment and repairing existing equipment to optimize power delivery systems;
- Reviewing and modifying operating procedures; and
- Continuing an aggressive educational and outreach effort to promote our nationally recognized energy efficiency programs.