Duke Energy
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Duke Energy Shares Strategies for Preparing Year-Round for Storms

June 1, 2023
The hurricane season may have just begun, but the utility gets ready for severe storms throughout the year.

The hurricane season may start on June 1 and end on Nov. 30, but Duke Energy prepares for storms year-round.

Throughout the year, the utility makes improvements to its electric grid to make it stronger and more resistant to outages from extreme weather and enable faster restoration of power when disruptions occur. Improvements include pole and line upgrades, placing outage-prone lines underground and installing smart, self-healing technology that automatically detects power outages and quickly reroutes power to restore service faster.

In 2022, self-healing technology helped to avoid about 513,000 customer outages in Florida, saving more than 3.8 million hours of total lost outage time. Crews also trim trees and remove vegetation year-round that threaten the reliable operation of the electric grid. These measures are particularly beneficial to customers during storms when vegetation is a leading cause of outages.

“We’ve been making upgrades across our system throughout the year to build a stronger and smarter power grid to serve our customers,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “Years of investments in strengthening our grid, along with our year-round training and strong community partnerships, mean we’re ready to respond when and where our customers need us.”

Duke Energy has a comprehensive storm response plan built upon decades of experience and improvement. Advanced forecasting and damage modeling processes help the company to place crews, support resources and equipment strategically ahead of a storm to respond quickly as outages occur. And partnerships with peer utilities provide additional resources to shorten response times and get communities back on their feet faster. This collaboration is increasingly important as utilities face storms that are growing in frequency and intensity.

Monitoring the System
With the 2023 hurricane season now underway, the Duke Energy Distribution Control Center (DCC) will serve as a vital part of daily operations.

"Our highly-trained technicians monitor the system 24 hours per day, 365 days a year to ensure customers receive the best service possible even through storms," the company stated. "When an outage is reported, it is the Distribution Control Center that dispatches a crew, uses smart, self-healing technology, or communicates directly with the customer’s smart meter to get power restored or address power quality issues."

Depending on the outage or power quality issue reported, it can be resolved remotely through the efforts of controllers and technology at this facility, often avoiding the need to dispatch a crew into the field.

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