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Only Minutes Not Hours To Restore Major Outages With Duke Energy’s New Smart Grid

The new technology allows Duke Energy to reduce the number of power outages and restore power faster. The billion-dollar project will also include several upgrades.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Let's just be honest -- the power going out in your house is probably one of the biggest inconveniences you can think of. 

Electricity is a modern-day necessity we have come to rely on in our daily lives. We use electricity to power air conditioners, our major appliances, and electronics and most importantly our smartphones.

It's why Duke Energy is investing several billion dollars in a multi-year grid improvement project. The project will allow Duke Energy to identify outages sooner, respond quicker and restore power faster.

The network uses sensors to quickly detect an outage and identify dispatchers. In some cases, the “smart” system can reroute power on its own so all customers may experience a brief outage before it fully kicks back on.

“Our smart thinking grid allows us to quickly identify outages and reroute power to other power lines to get customers back on sooner and that can mean reducing an outage that affected 2,000 people to 500 in less than a minute,” said Duke Energy spokesperson, Jeff Brooks.

Along with a new grid system, Duke Energy is installing new power poles and lines across the state. It is also burying lines in some communities for better service. The upgraded power lines will allow Duke to reroute customers without power to those lines while the outage is repaired.

Duke Energy services more than 2.5 million customers in the state. The new distribution center will allow 36 operators to work at one time and the new network can handle up to 100,000 calls in an hour.

“We understand how important power is and we are doing all we can to keep people up and running,” said Brooks.

Duke Energy is also working on a microgrid technology. The battery-powered technology would be used in small communities and enable the company to switch customers to battery-power while their lines are being repaired in an outage. The technology is still being tested and could only be used for a few hours in lightly populated areas.

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