Eversource: What We’re Doing to Handle Peak Summer Electricity Demand

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When summer temperatures soar, dramatic upticks in energy use to power air conditioning systems and fans put a strain on the grid.  In an ongoing effort to fortify the system to handle peak demand, Eversource invests in upgrades to existing infrastructure to ensure customers enjoy reliable power, even when the region experiences extreme weather conditions.

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— an announcement from Eversource

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Investments like these allowed the company to deliver its best service for customers in 2015 and improve reliability in Connecticut by more than 50 percent over the last five years.

Eversource

“Strengthening the electric system is a year-round commitment to ensure our customers have reliable power during even the hottest summer days,” said Steve Gilkey, Vice President of Electric Field Operations for Eversource in Connecticut.

“This work includes a wide range of preparations, including comprehensive ground, aerial and infrared inspections of our lines and equipment, along with ongoing maintenance and upgrades to the electric grid.”

ISO-New England, the operator of the region’s power grid, expects this summer’s demand for electricity could peak at 26,704 megawatts – up from last year’s peak of 24,398.  With the expected increase in demand, Eversource is prepared to deliver the additional power but is also ready to respond if there are any service interruptions.

The company is currently in the fourth year of its System Resiliency Plan in Connecticut, a five-year significant grid modernization project to strengthen the electric delivery system.  This year, system improvements in Connecticut include:

  • Increasing capacity at substations in Newington and Southington that serve those and other area towns, including Cheshire, Meriden, Berlin, New Britain, Farmington and West Hartford.
  • Upgrading equipment and adding high-tech automation to allow the company to restore power more quickly.
  • Installing 40 miles of thicker electric wire and 3,800 new utility poles.
  • Ensuring cooling equipment at all major substations remains in optimal condition to avoid overheating during times of peak electricity use.
  • Continuing tree work around the state as part of the company’s comprehensive vegetation management program.
  • Inspecting substations and electric lines to proactively identify emerging issues before they impact service to customers.
  • Completing foot patrols of electric lines to inspect electrical equipment and structures.
  • Adding automatic switching devices to the system, which allow the company to reroute electricity around trouble spots, reducing the number of customers affected by an outage and the duration of outages.

All of this work has greatly benefited customers by improving reliability, reducing outages, and resulting in shorter outage durations when they do occur.  In fact, since 2011, the number of tree-caused outages in Connecticut has been reduced by 40 percent.

For more information about major projects and other infrastructure improvements, visit Eversource.com.

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