There’s no standing still in the electricity delivery business.

Our investments in the power grid system that brings electricity to your home, workplace or school are making a difference. The number of outages continues to drop, especially during storms, and the outages we do have are getting shorter.

But we’re not done. Not by a long shot.

There’s more to keeping the system reliable than you might think. A lot of different things come together to help make sure that when you flip the switch, the lights come on.

First is smart grid. You may have heard the term before, but what does it mean at PPL Electric Utilities? Well, a big part of our smart grid effort is putting hundreds of automated smart grid switches on lines all around our service territory. These switches automatically sense a problem on the line, isolate that problem to a small area, and allow operators to reroute that power around the trouble spot.

We installed 500 of these switches in 2014 and this year we’re looking to put in another 800, with most of that group by Memorial Day.

We’re building new lines to allow power to be more easily rerouted in our system.  In some cases, we’re building new substations to provide better power delivery flexibility.

Last year, we completed animal guard installations at nearly 50 substations. Squirrels and other animals can play havoc with reliability, so we attach guard to important equipment to keep the critters out and your power on.

We’re also bolstering lightning protection on our lines to make them more storm resistant.

We’re keeping lines clear. During the past several years, we’ve increased the scope of our tree trimming and clearing program and tree-related outages continue to decrease. This important work is done both on larger transmission lines as well as smaller lines that run through your neighborhood. Keeping lines clear is as important a factor as any in working to make sure the lights stay on.

Our goal is to be among the best of the best across the nation when it comes to service reliability. Investments like the ones we just discussed will continue because it’s the right thing to do when it comes to you — our customers.

Smart Grid Devices ready to go at SFC_inside shot         Smart Grid Blog_Pic2_012015