Grid and Reliability
First things first. What is “the grid”? In a nutshell, the grid is a network that delivers electric power to customers and communities. The three components of the grid are:
So, that’s the grid. Now let’s talk about reliability and resiliency. Simply put, reliability is the quality of service you receive, hopefully service that is free from outages. Resiliency, on the other hand, is how well the grid is prepared to adapt to changing conditions and recover rapidly when disruptions occur, such as outages from severe weather.
Duke Energy wants to deliver reliable and resilient power to you every day and provide the service that you expect. That’s why we are making strategic improvements to strengthen the grid against power outages from storms and other threats and installing smart technologies to help restore power faster when outages occur. We are also preparing the grid for cleaner energy options and a lower carbon future.
Here’s what that commitment looks like in action.
Self-healing technology can automatically detect power outages, isolate the problem, and then quickly reroute service to other available lines to restore power faster. In 2021, self-healing technology saved customers nearly 1.2 million hours of total outage time and avoided more than 700,000 extended outages. Not only that, but this same technology helps enable the two-way power flow needed to support growth of renewables and distributed technologies like battery storage and electric vehicles.
We are helping to improve the reliability and capability of the electric grid by constructing new energy pathways so that we can reliably support customer demand for electricity now and in the future.
What you might see us working on in your community:
- Replacing and upgrading overhead electric lines and underground lines nearing the end of their service life
- Expanding the capacity of power lines in growing communities and sites with large-scale distributed generation like solar farms, microgrids and battery storage sites
- Adding new energy pathways and expanding capabilities of lines that support self-healing and grid efficiency improvements
We're working hard to build a stronger electric infrastructure that is more resistant to power outages. Part of that effort includes inspecting our utility poles at intervals consistent with their long service lives. Over time, wooden poles can be damaged from weather and insects. By using innovative tactics and strategies to inspect and repair poles, we can fix problems before they occur. Here's one way we are doing just that.
We're strategically identifying our most outage-prone lines and moving them underground. Through targeted undergrounding and self-healing technology installation, we can significantly increase resiliency and help better protect the local community and economy during extreme weather.
Together, these activities enable us to continually improve the reliability of your electric service while enhancing the resiliency of the entire grid to help ensure steady, uninterrupted power.