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Oncor Files System Resiliency Plan With Public Utility Commission of Texas

May 23, 2024
The company will invest about $3 billion over 2025-2027 in order to enhance the resiliency of its transmission and distribution system, upon receiving PUCT’s approval.

Oncor has filed its System Resiliency Plan (SRP) with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT).

Oncor will invest approximately $3 billion over a three-year period in order to enhance the resiliency of its transmission and distribution system, upon receiving approval from the PUCT.

While the three-year period will commence upon PUCT approval of the plan, it is anticipated to cover 2025 through 2027.

“This plan outlines strategic investments to enhance system hardening and modernization, vegetation management, wildfire mitigation, operational capability and other resiliency measures – all of which will serve to deliver a safer, smarter and more resilient electric grid for the benefit of Oncor customers,” said Ellen Buck, vice president, business and operations services. 

Oncor analyzed more than two decades of past weather, damage and location data and its impact to customers across its service area to ensure a data-driven and strategic investment focus.

Oncor identified key resiliency measures and the investments required in these areas to help address potential outage causes, reduce outage minutes and better serve new and existing customers, including wildfire risk mitigation, the security of the grid, vegetation management and the expanded deployment of smart grid technologies.

If approved, these investments are expected to enable Oncor’s system to better withstand and quickly recover from extreme weather and other risk impacts. This includes helping to decrease the amount of infrastructure damage leading to customer outages; decrease equipment failure and storm-recovery costs; improve customer restoration times and reduce the length of outages when they occur; and decrease long-term costs for customers by avoiding expensive emergency repairs.

Oncor’s SRP includes $2.9 billion in investments and $500 million in related costs, with the following resiliency measures:

· Overhead and Underground Resiliency and Modernization – Approximately $1.83 billion to modernize and harden overhead systems (poles, crossarms, lightning protection and capacity) and underground systems (cable injection/replacement and switchgear automation).

· Continued Optimization of Distribution Automation – Approximately $510 million to enable, expand and optimize distribution automation through new ties, capacity and intelligent switches.

· Expanded Vegetation Management (VM+) – Approximately $285 million to expand the existing Vegetation Management program, and leverage remote-sensing capabilities such as satellite and laser imaging, detection and ranging.

· Enhanced Cybersecurity Risk Mitigation – Approximately $525 million to enhance cybersecurity risk mitigation, enhance and secure Oncor’s digital backbone infrastructure and other measures.

· Improved Physical Security – Approximately $80 million to improve physical security, including remote asset monitoring and other protection.

· Enhanced Wildfire Mitigation – Approximately $900 million to enhance wildfire mitigation efforts, including $182 million in specific wildfire mitigation measures. The overall investment includes the implementation of overheard resiliency and modernization, enhanced vegetation management and expanded distribution automation measures in areas at the highest risk for wildfires. The SRP offers Oncor an opportunity to advance wildfire mitigation strategies through additional investments in fire safe device deployment, advanced wildfire risk modeling, and strengthening, modernization and protection of assets in wildfire mitigation zones.

About the Author

T&D World Staff

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Nikki Chandler
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Amy Fischbach
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