It’s never easy when the power goes out. And when Hurricane Ian knocked out electricity to almost 2 million customers in Florida and the Carolinas, Duke Energy was ready to respond quickly with thousands of crews and modern technology.
With the help of nearly 20,000 Duke Energy workers and utility partners – 10,000 in Florida and another 10,000 in the Carolinas – the company got the lights on as quickly and as safely as possible.
With sustained winds of 150 mph, Ian made landfall Sept. 28 in Florida as the fourth-strongest hurricane to hit the state and fifth-most-powerful hurricane to hit the United States. Even as Ian made its way across Florida and the Carolinas, self-healing technology helped to automatically restore around 260,000 customer outages.
A self-healing grid uses sensors and switches to automatically identify an outage and reroute electricity in seconds, to avoid outages for as many customers as possible. Crews in the field are helped by self-healing technology because it reduces the number of outages and frees teams to work in other locations. During Ian restoration efforts, self-healing technology saved more than 4.1 million hours of outages.
While Duke Energy can’t prevent all outages, the company is improving the reliability and resiliency of the grid to withstand storms and strengthening it against physical and cyberthreats. Grid improvements help to avoid outages and add self-healing technology, expand renewables and provide tools to give customers more control over their energy use and ways to save energy.
“We are making the grid more resilient to storms by placing targeted lines underground, upgrading poles and lines (especially in areas prone to high winds), improving flood protection in the Carolinas, and adding technology that can automatically detect outages and quickly restore power,” said Harry Sideris, executive vice president, customer experience, solutions and services. “These grid improvements will benefit our customers with fewer outages and shorter restoration times when storms impact our areas.”