Jeff Wadsworth, CEO
Over the past several months, we’ve been going through PVREA’s 2016-2017 Strategy Map. So far we’ve unearthed the foundational “Quest for Zero” safety goal and the “Team Synergy” goal. This month I would like to lead you through our “Operational Excellence” goal and explain how your co-op is making strides in improving reliability, decreasing outage time and working to control operational costs.
First, I want you to know your co-op has a detailed construction plan for maintaining and improving the reliability of our local electric grid. We started building line in 1939, and as our system ages we upgrade and improve our lines. Further, technology has greatly improved and we’re taking advantage of the technology available to improve the service we’re bringing to you.
A large piece of the construction plan is sectionalizing our system. Think of all the different power lines, or circuits, throughout our electric grid like a Christmas tree light strand. On one circuit, if one house goes out, the rest go out. One section of the line gets hit by lightning and causes power to interrupt, and all homes and businesses after that section also lose power.
To eliminate this problem we are working on, what we call, sectionalizing our system. These upgrades to the system will allow us to eliminate the Christmas tree light strand effect and we will be able to isolate and decrease outage time. When a line loses power, we will be able to isolate a particular section of that line and keep power flowing to the rest of the members on that line so there are not as many people without power.
We are also installing automation technology on our system. When we experience a power outage, new automation technology will allow us to reset breakers in the office as opposed to dispatching crews to do it manually. This will enable us to get the lights back on quicker, and save costs on man hours.
PVREA’s tree trimming plan is also a very important part of the construction plan. Trees oftentimes are the root cause of power outages. Weather, and even small critters, can cause trees to get into our power lines, causing outages. Keeping up on clearing tree limbs away from power lines is such an important factor in maintaining electricity reliability for your home or business. It’s an ongoing process, and we’re committed to continuing the process over the years to improve our service to you.
When you look at an overhead power line that brings electricity to you and businesses, it can seem like such a simple thing. It’s just poles and wires. But in reality, bringing affordable and reliable service is much more than just the poles and wires you see alongside the road. Just like your car, maintenance is crucial to keeping a system running long-term. And much planning and engineering goes into the car you drive, just like planning and engineering goes into PVREA’s infrastructure.
“Operational Excellence” is just another piece of the puzzle to bringing safe, affordable and reliable power to your home or business. Keep reading future issues of the Colorado Country Life throughout the year as we continue to unpack our strategy map and demonstrate the Cooperative Difference.
- Jeff Wadsworth, CEO