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Duke Energy installing new technology that helps keep lights on during a storm

Duke Self-Healing Technology
Posted at 9:50 PM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-17 14:32:08-04

Chances are you've lost power during a storm at some time in your life. It's an inconvenience that Duke Energy, the states largest serving utility company, is trying to prevent.

"One of the ways we do that is through self-healing technology. It automatically detects power outages. It reroutes power to restore power to customers in the event of an outage," McKenzie Barbknecht said.

Duke Energy Spokesperson, Barbknecht, says the company is adding "self-healing" technology to different parts of the state. Upgrades are currently being made to power grids in Noblesville.

If the lights go out, the system will automatically detect that and re-route the power through a different line.

"It works very similar to how a GPS in your car works. It identifies an accident ahead and re-routes. Self-healing works the same way. If a tree takes out a power line, instead of knocking out power for thousands of customers, it isolates the outage to mid-area," Barbknecht said.

According to Barbknecht, only 11% of customers are protected by this high technology. Plans are in place to upgrade the grids for 65% of Duke Energy customers over the next six years.

"Last year, our self-healing technology helped avoid nearly 45,000 outages across the state, which saved 80,000 hours of outage time. Those are significant numbers. When you couple that with some other upgrades we are making to our system, like swapping out wooden poles for steel poles, all of that goes a long way in making sure the lights stay on," she said.

AES serves the Indianapolis area. It's also using self-healing technology.

Plans are in place over the next 7 years to significantly strengthen its grids.