Eversource working to strengthen electric system


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Eversource is working year-round to strengthen the grid and prepare in advance for severe weather and is encouraging customers to plan ahead.

When power outages do happen, Eversource restores power as quickly and safely as possible and wants to help customers better understand how the restoration process works. In recognition of National Hurricane Preparedness Week and how unpredictable New England weather can be, the energy company is highlighting the work they do to restore power.

“We prepare 24/7, we are ready to respond and also year round we are doing things to make sure the system is as strong and resilient as it can be. You know, we’re replacing wires and making those wires stronger making sure there is more protection against lightning strikes, we’re doing tree work year round. It’s such an important, such a critical part of the puzzle,” said Priscilla Ress of Eversource Energy.

According to a news release sent to 22News from Eversource, as the changing climate increases the frequency and severity of storms, Eversource is constantly working to strengthen the electric system to help ensure safe and reliable service for its customers.

This includes the following:

  • Strategic investments in innovative technology to upgrade the grid, such as smart switches that enable system operators to isolate power outages and remotely reroute power from another source within minutes
  • Smart fuses that automatically restore power to customers when a tree limb temporarily comes into contact with wires and helps to protect the electric system when a problem is detected, such as a current surge or overload
  • Optical ground wire that enhances communication between company facilities and protects the high-voltage transmission system from severe weather conditions such as lightning strikes

“Severe weather can strike at any time, that’s why emergency preparedness is a top priority and constant focus for us,” Eversource President of Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom said. “As part of our efforts to strengthen our storm response following Tropical Storm Isaias, we’re upgrading and refining our Emergency Response Plan and implementing new processes, systems and staffing to ensure that we’re well prepared for hurricane season. For example, in our annual meetings with communities we’re introducing our innovative municipal hub that will be officially rolled out this summer. The new portal will be a key tool for our community liaisons to better communicate with municipalities as we address their priorities, critical facilities, and blocked roads during storms.”

According to Eversource, with trees being the number one cause of power outages during storms, the energy company’s comprehensive year-round tree trimming program is another important component of its preparedness efforts.

Trimming and removing hazardous trees that threaten overhead electric lines is crucial to providing customers with reliable power in all types of weather. Eversource is investing more than $41 million for tree trimming this year.

Eversource is also reminding customers to take steps to prepare for hurricane season at home and know what to do before, during, and after a storm by having an emergency plan in place, stock a storm kit with essential items (including pet food and medications), plan a meeting place for family members and be ready to check on neighbors.

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