Spotlight on the Line Trade: Josh Wilson of Duke Energy

June 16, 2020
As a lineman on a training crew, Josh Wilson helps to sharpen apprentices' skills for promotion in the line trade.
  • Born in Huntsville, Alabama.
  • Has a brother who is 10 months older. They were both adopted and grew up in Florida with their mom and dad. Years later, he met his biological dad and discovered he had five sisters.
  • Married with three kids.
  • Has worked at Duke Energy since 2003.
  • Enjoys sports and spending time at the beach or on the lake when his family is not attending his daughter’s softball tournaments.
  • Likes competing in the International Lineman’s Rodeo, representing his company and traveling for fun.

Early Years
After graduating from high school, I joined the Marine Corps. I had a good friend from high school who told me about this job as my other job wasn’t keeping up with the bills. That is when I found a career.

Day in the Life
I am currently a lineman on a training crew. We help train a crew of experienced apprentices and sharpen their skills for promotion. It’s more of an employee development job, but we try and get bigger jobs or something out of the ordinary for the guys.

We are currently building a feeder. We get apprentices from all over who are motivated. This helps the whole crew develop. We will also do pole changeouts during downtime to help our system.

Challenges and Rewards
The challenges are the hours and weekends spent working when you have a family. With that being said, it's reward is having nice things and being able to go on nice vacations.

Hardening the Grid
Duke Energy continues to make grid improvements that strengthen the grid against severe weather, as well as physical and cyber threats. Those improvements help to reduce outages and allow Duke Energy to more efficiently use crews and equipment during a storm response.

In 2017, Duke Energy Florida committed to a four-year $6 billion investment program to build a smarter energy grid. In addition to trimming trees and replacing some of our wood poles with steel or concrete, the company has been installing grid automation and smart grid devices, which improve service reliability and reduce the length and number of outages year-round.

We are installing smart, self-healing technology that can automatically detect a power outage and quickly reroute power to restore service faster. This 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. Last year alone, smart-healing technology prevented 150,000 customer interruptions and saved 10 million minutes of outages in Florida.

Smart meters can help improve storm response by allowing crews to “ping” the customer’s meter when repairing a power line to instantly determine if power has been restored or if more repairs are needed. This smart technology avoids the need to call a customer or drive by their premise to verify if power restorations were successful.

We have deployed advanced monitoring and control technologies that allow operators identify potential issues before an outage occurs and to remotely restore outages that do not require an extensive physical repair, reducing outage time and the need to send crews to restore an outage.

Safety Lesson
As soon you start working here, the interview actually, you realize how important safety is. From where I came from with not much talk of safety at all, to everything is about safety.

Memorable Storm
During my first storm, I was still new and couldn't believe the destruction. I slept on the floor most nights and worked all day for two-and-a-half weeks. because it was my first storm. I was more excited than tired. I definitely get tired a little faster now.

Tools and Technology
We have come a long way with new tools. We love lightweight battery tools and presses. There are mixed feelings with all our new computers. Younger guys seem to like them better than the older guys. 

Life as a Lineman
I would absolutely do it all over if I had start over again. This is a great place to work with good benefits as well. This is a newer role for me in the company and I plan on staying with it for a while. If you have a good attitude, this is a great place to work.

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