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Remote switches installed on powerlines, mounted high on a utility pole
MidAmerican configures electric distribution systems so that electricity is safely delivered to homes and businesses along a single route called a distribution circuit. But, those distribution circuits are connected to a wider network, ensuring that if one circuit experiences an issue, another circuit can step up to deliver power to our customers.
As part of our STAR initiative, we have installed new remote distribution switches along some circuit connection points across our service area. Following a circuit outage, these switches will communicate to our control room operators. From there, our team will be able to operate these switches from the control room, isolate the problem and restore roughly half of the circuit in a matter of minutes – all remotely!
Not only that, but remote distribution switches allow them to identify another circuit that can provide electricity to the home or business that is without power. So, if an outage occurs along a neighborhood’s circuit, but another one could still provide them with power, we can switch it over and restore service within minutes.
Of course, to make sure everything is addressed fully, we still dispatch our field personnel to identify the specific location of the problem, and we may use additional manual isolation switches to further isolate the incident and restore power. Still, these remote distribution switches only add to the number of ways that we work to keep our systems safe, reliable and efficient.
Learn about our other ongoing STAR (Safety Through Asset Reliability) efforts.