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Why Sandy makes the smart grid more important than ever

By: SmartGridNews.com |

Line crews and support personnel from FirstEnergy utilities in Ohio headed east Monday to help with restoration efforts


It would be unfair to send utility workers out in the storm without raingear and tools. It is increasingly unfair to send them out without the protection and assistance of automation. Here are five examples of ways that utilities are getting more resilient through the application of smart grid technologies.

East Coast utilities bring in reinforcements

Even the smartest electric grid can’t totally outmaneuver Mother Nature. Major disasters like Sandy will still require emergency responders who risk life and limb in the worst of circumstances to restore power. Over the weekend we started to see a steady stream of announcements like these:

  • Additional line crews deployed to Jersey Central Power & Light service areas in advance of Hurricane Sandy— With Hurricane Sandy expected to slam New Jersey as early as Monday, Jersey Central Power & Light’s (JCP&L) 400 linemen and 1,200 additional line personnel from as far away as Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio will help restore customers who could be without power from seven to 10 days as a result of anticipated damage from the storm. Restoration work will begin as soon as the storm passes and it is safe for utility workers.
  • Oncor sends crews to help Northeast after Hurricane Sandy— Oncor crews departed North Texas for Baltimore, MD, this morning to assist with potential outages that Hurricane Sandy is expected to leave in its wake in the next couple of days.
  • EMCs send crews to help restore power— Approximately 85 electric linemen and a large contingent of equipment from 11 electric cooperatives in Georgia are headed to Maryland to help restore power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The Edison Electric Institute has posted a multimedia gallery focused on Sandy restoration efforts and utility responders from around the country. And a couple of videos provide a glimpse of what crews are dealing with: