Sunday, May 26, 2024

SWEPCO crews working 16 hours a day to restore power to customers

by BIZ Magazine

SWEPCO crews continue to make progress in the ongoing effort to rebuild SWEPCO’s energy delivery system.

As of noon Monday, June 19, SWEPCO has restored service to approximately 138,000 customers impacted by the severe weather that moved through the region on Friday; an estimated 112,000 remain without power.

As a result of the severe weather event, Public Service Commissioners joined with community leaders and SWEPCO to provide an update on the extent of damage and the progress made. On Monday, Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell joined SWEPCO for a press conference to share updates on storm restoration work.

“This is the worst transmission impacted storm I’ve ever seen in my career, and it’s the worst one we’ve had at SWEPCO,” said SWEPCO President and COO Brett Mattison.

Campbell echoed those sentiments, saying he had not seen a storm of this magnitude in northwest Louisiana since being in office.

Friday’s storm caused major damage to SWEPCO’s transmission system, which delivers high-voltage power over long distances from power plants to substations, where the power is converted to voltages appropriate for use in homes and businesses. SWEPCO’s utility poles and distribution wires serving individual homes and businesses also experienced extensive damage.

Over 50 transmission lines were forced out of service due to tree and structure damage caused by the extreme weather, half of which have been restored to service. In addition, nearly 60 Transmission and Distribution substations were impacted.

“Without the transmission up, you can’t get power to those homes and businesses, so we’ve been working diligently to get the transmission system back up,” Mattison said.

The workforce of more than 3,000 utility professionals are working 16 hours a day to restore service to customers who remain without power. They are making a lot of traction with the transmission repairs and have about 70 percent of the transmission system back up and running.

“We won’t stop, and we won’t sleep until that last light is on,” Mattison said.

Since Friday, work has continued to complete damage assessments. By leveraging both on ground and aerial assessments, the entire transmission system that spans nearly 700 miles of transmission lines was completed. Teams continue to prioritize stabilizing the system and putting efforts on transmission lines impacting customer stations. Damage to transmission lines can result in significant outages. SWEPCO’s utility poles and distribution wires serving individual homes and businesses also experienced extensive damage. Crews continue to assess and have reported nearly 300 utility poles taken out of service and more than 114 transformers are scheduled to be replaced.

Outage update: At peak, close to a quarter of a million SWEPCO customers lost power after the hurricane-force winds caused significant damage to the power delivery system across SWEPCO’s service area. Work continues, weather permitting, to rebuild SWEPCO’s energy delivery system with continued focus on repairs to SWEPCO’s transmission system.

Estimated Restoration Times: We know customers are seeking information and we are doing everything we can to offer assurance that power will be restored safely and reliably. Teams will provide additional detail including updates to restoration areas and times as crews continue working to restore power.

  • Natchitoches District in Louisiana – 10 p.m., Tuesday, June 20
  • Shreveport District in Louisiana – 10 p.m., Saturday, June 24

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