Maintenance is further advanced with on-going inspections of the systems facilities.
Poles are inspected for their integrity and questionable ones are replaced. Underground transformers, cabinets and other facilities are regularly inspected for conductive connections and enclosure integrity. Those underground transformers with capacities over 300 KVA are regularly scheduled for infrared scanning. When potential problems are found, corrective action is scheduled around the members’ operational hours to avoid interruption of service before the problem creates an unexpected outage.
Blue Ridge takes to heart the saying "those who fail to plan, plan to fail" when it comes to system reliability. Engineering studies are conducted in support of a 20-year long range plan as well as a 4-year construction work plan. Additionally, power requirement studies are regularly performed to assure that our system will deliver the power both where and when it is needed. Reviewing operating and maintenance records help identify adjustments that may be needed on the Blue Ridge system. System protective equipment coordination studies keep us on top of any reliability issues that could affect the service supply.
We constantly review our system's capacities to identify areas in our service territory that have future requirements. Transmission line improvements, substation additions, line conversions or conductor replacements may be necessary to meet or maintain system growth mandates.
System planning also includes other reliability improvement measures such as probability analysis of the experienced problems as well as equipment evaluations for future system upgrades. Designing the system into "sections" in order to isolate effects of faults that can occur on a line help promote improved reliability.