Reclosers, additional power lines, and more capacitor banks will help the utility deliver power more reliably, it says.
Toledo Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp, announced that it is upgrading infrastructure and installing technology to modernize its electric system in northwest Ohio to help prevent power outages and provide more flexibility in restoring power faster. The work is part of an initial three-year phase of the company’s grid modernization plan and includes installation of new, automated equipment and technology in substations and along power lines serving more than 40,000 customers in parts of Toledo, Maumee, Holland and nearby areas.
Utility personnel are upgrading electrical equipment in two Lucas County substations as well as modernizing the power lines from those facilities that deliver electric service to customers. More than 60 new automated reclosing devices in the substations and along the power lines will help limit the frequency, duration and scope of service interruptions.
These electrical devices work like a circuit breaker in a home that shuts off power when trouble occurs, with the added benefit of automatically reenergizing a substation or power line within seconds for certain types of outages to keep power safely flowing to customers. This technology often allows utility personnel to automatically restore service to customers rather than sending a crew to investigate, saving money and improving the speed and accuracy of restoration.
If the device senses a more serious issue, like a fallen tree on electrical equipment, it will isolate the outage to that area and limit the total number of affected customers. The device uses smart technology that will pinpoint the location of the fault and help utility personnel better understand the cause of the outage.
Educational sessions covering Distribution Automation and Outage Management will be presented at the next DISTRIBUTECH+ virtual series, which takes place May 26-27, 2021. See what’s on the agenda and register here.
Additional power lines also are being constructed to provide more flexibility in restoring outages due to events such as storms and vehicle accidents.
Lastly, more than 80 capacitor banks are being installed to help ensure all customers served by a single power line receive the same flow of safe, reliable power by evenly distributing electricity down the line. These devices are expected to reduce energy usage for customers served near the beginning of a power line because they will benefit from lower power voltages being fed into their homes or businesses.
This work builds upon system upgrades that were completed last year in the greater Toledo area, including the installation of more than 40 automated reclosing devices, nearly a dozen capacitor banks and construction of new power lines. Additional modernization work is planned across the region through 2022.
“While we cannot eliminate the possibility of outages occurring due to reasons out of our control, like severe weather, we can take steps to minimize the length and impact of service interruptions when they do occur,” said Rich Sweeney, regional president of Toledo Edison. “The work we’re doing across Toledo will provide new technology and backup power lines for many customers, reducing many power interruptions to just a brief or momentary outage.”
Toledo Edison serves more than 300,000 customers in northwest Ohio.