Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) is in the final stages of a $41 million program to upgrade and strengthen its infrastructure across the state as the 2010 summer season – the time of greatest electricity consumption – approaches. Every year, CL&P begins preparations for the summer during the previous fall to reduce the possibility of service interruptions for customers.
"These proactive steps are far more efficient and cost-effective for us than just making repairs,” said Dana Louth, vice president for Energy Delivery Services at CL&P. “These improvements will go a long way so that if outages occur, they are small both in number and duration, providing our customers with greater reliability.”
CL&P has taken a number of steps to prepare for the peak demand summer months and better serve its 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns across Connecticut, including:
- Building new substations in Waterford and Windsor to serve customers in Waterford, New London, East Lyme, Old Lyme, Salem, Montville, Windsor, Bloomfield and North Bloomfield;
- Installing and replacing transformers at substations that serve the towns of Mystic, Stonington, Stamford and Norwalk;
- Undertaking projects in 42 communities to increase circuit capacity - the ability to provide electricity to customers without compromising the delivery equipment when temperatures and electrical demand are at their highest;
- Performing inspections and follow-up maintenance on all distribution substations in areas where heavy customer demand is expected or where failure of a single piece of equipment would result in long interruptions to large numbers of customers;
- Performing maintenance and upgrades on urban underground electric delivery systems to strengthen them. This includes major underground improvements to systems in Waterbury, Greenwich, and Stamford;
- Verifying the integrity and efficiency of cooling equipment at all major substations to ensure the equipment will be appropriately cooled to avoid equipment failures from overheating while carrying peak summer loads;
- Conducting helicopter infrared surveys of the state's electric transmission lines (except for no-fly zones) and land based infrared surveys of over 200 CL&P substations. These surveys test and verify the integrity of the connections on major electrical delivery systems and help CL&P identify potential trouble spots;
- Completing foot patrols of the transmission lines to inspect electrical equipment and structures;
- Installing new distribution equipment and repairing existing equipment to optimize power delivery systems;
- Working with ISO New England to encourage large commercial and industrial customers to consider conservation measures during times of peak demand;
- Reviewing and modifying operating procedures; and
- Continuing an aggressive educational and outreach effort to promote conservation measures across the state.