The PPL Electric Utilities power grid had its most reliable year ever in 2017 with customers continuing to see fewer outages.
PPL has been installing more smart grid technology, using data analytics to improve equipment maintenance and replacement, installing better protection against damage from lightning strikes, and more. In addition, comprehensive clearing along power lines continues to reduce tree-related outages, the number one cause of outages during storms.
Compared to 2007, PPL customers experienced a total of 550,000 fewer interruptions in 2017.
"Last year was the best year for reliability in our history," said Stephanie Raymond, vice president, Distribution Operations. "We're always looking to make our grid better. That work never stops. Our business revolves around serving our customers and powering our communities. It's a responsibility we relish."
PPL customers experience some of the best electric service reliability in the country. PPL is in the top 11 percent among utilities nationwide in terms of the lowest average number of outages per customer.
What does increased reliability look like?
- Since 2010, smart grid devices have been installed at more than 4,600 locations throughout PPL's service territory.
- There was a 76 percent reduction in lightning-related outages on transmission lines from 2012-17 because of investments in lightning protection.
What do future grid investments look like?
- More automation on the local distribution grid to reroute power around trouble spots and turn the lights on faster for many customers.
- More automation on the higher-voltage transmission grid to further improve reliability for customers.
- Improvements at substations and in underground networks that serve cities.
- Continued proactive replacement of aging equipment.
- Replacement of 15,000 wooden distribution poles and 160 circuit breakers over the next five years.
- Rebuilding over 1,400 miles of older transmission lines over the next five years.
"Electricity plays a part in nearly every aspect of our lives. We know people depend on us," Raymond said. "Making the power grid more and more reliable is just one way we can deliver."