Linemen News: December

December highlights from the world of linemen news.

Here are some industry news and information articles from around the web, just for you.
Collage of towers halved

BPA Crew Saves Sparky the Bear Cub

The morning of October 19 started off a bit unusually for employees at the Bonneville Power Administration’s Shelton Substation, about 20 miles northwest of Olympia, Washington. A young bear cub was in the vicinity and when county sheriff’s department staff went to capture the little guy, the cub was so frightened that he jumped the substation fence and perched atop energized high-voltage electrical equipment. Continue Reading

Duke Energy Indiana Proposes Revised Plan to Modernize Grid

Duke Energy Indiana filed a revised plan Monday with Indiana state utility regulators to modernize its aging electric grid that delivers power to more than 800,000 Hoosier homes, businesses and industries.

The seven-year, $1.83 billion plan uses a combination of advanced technology and infrastructure upgrades to improve service to customers and provide them with better information about their energy use.

In May, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission denied Duke Energy Indiana’s original plan proposed in August 2014, asking for more details and a more specific focus on electric grid projects.

“This plan will improve the reliability of our electric service and give customers more control over their energy usage and bills while creating and supporting thousands of Hoosier jobs,” said Duke Energy Indiana President Melody Birmingham-Byrd. Continue Reading

Managing the Disruption of Distributed Energy Integration: A Model-based Approach

Around the world, technology is opening up new opportunities for utilities to provide higher levels of customer service and grid reliability-including greater generation diversity and individualized customer service.
Empowered by technology innovation and supported by policy, consumers are choosing to adopt distributed energy resources (DERs) in record numbers and far faster than anticipated. By managing their energy consumption behavior with little or no input from utilities, consumers are changing how the modern distribution grid works. Continue Reading

Utility industry is ripe for robots, says study

Electric utilities are emerging as early adopters of advanced robotics technologies, especially aerial drones, according to a new report by Navigant Research. The value proposition is simple enough: drones and robots can reduce costs, improve safety and enhance the reliability of the electric grid.

“For many years, T&D utilities in all regions of the world have been performing line inspections and maintenance, storm damage assessments, and vegetation management using traditional line crews and helicopters,” said James McCray, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “The use of drones and robotics for T&D inspection and maintenance not only represents a rapidly growing revenue stream for technology and outsourced services providers, but it could also help keep crews safer.”
Continue Reading

Keeping linemen safe: Utility workers often face life-threatening hazards to get the job done

This is an article posted a year ago, and recently reposted. It needs to be read again and again as a staunch reminder to all.
Every year, dozens of utility workers across the country fail to “walk back through the door” after they leave for work. According to Fallen Linemen – an organization created to memorialize linemen who have lost their lives at work – 44 line workers died because of on-the-job incidents in 2013 and, as of press time, 33 line workers had lost their lives in 2014.

Many of the deaths were preventable. Continue Reading