Duke Energy’s grid improvement initiative continues to expand across its service territories.
The company is leveraging smart technologies and making strategic investments to improve reliability for customers, strengthen the grid against physical and cyber threats, enable expansion of solar and innovative technologies, and give customers more options and control to manage their energy use and save money.
As part of this effort, Duke Energy is significantly expanding the use of smart, self-healing technology that automatically identifies power outages and quickly reroutes power to restore customers – often in less than a minute – helping to reduce the number of customers affected by outages by as much as 75 percent.
Self-healing systems delivered significant benefits to customers in 2019, helping to avoid more than 610,000 extended customer outages and saving customers more than 1 million hours of outage time. And those benefits will continue to increase as this technology expands in 2020.
A smart-thinking grid also supports the two-way power flow needed to effectively integrate rooftop solar and other distributed technologies like battery storage, electric vehicles and microgrids.
Duke Energy has delivered improved options and control to customers in 2019 with more than 7 million smart meters now installed in the Carolinas, Florida and the Midwest – 80 percent of the company’s customers. Smart meters provide customers with more information about their energy use and usage alerts to help them save energy and money before their bill arrives. They also provide improved outage detection and can help to speed restoration following a major outage.
Additional work in 2019 included grid-strengthening upgrades, physical and cyber security improvements and targeted undergrounding of outage-prone lines, all of which will help deliver a better experience for customers.
With severe weather events increasing in frequency and severity across the company’s service area, improving the grid to make it stronger and more resilient will continue to be a top priority for Duke Energy to reliably serve customers now and in the future.