A testament to quality service
At a recent employee meeting, I had the opportunity to share some unique and truly impressive information: the co-op didn’t experience a single backbone-feeder outage throughout the entire month of April! That was 30 consecutive days without suffering even one interruption along the extensive mileage covered by our 152 three-phase circuits. Longtime Blue Ridge employees like me couldn’t recall a single instance in our past when such a phenomenon might have occurred. A number of factors worked together to bring about this accomplishment:
- An aggressive vegetation-control program. We well understand that trees and power lines don’t mix. Consequently, we endeavor to clear our rights of way on a regular cycle.
- Our well-sectionalized Blue Ridge distribution system. We’ve installed reclosers and fuse cutouts all along every one of our three-phase circuits. Those devices work to confine potential trouble to the single-phase and multi-phase taps that feed off those circuits.
- The cooperative’s program of relocating existing power lines. Whenever practical, our crews seek to move power lines out of wooded areas and onto less-vulnerable routes, such as those adjacent to roadways.
- Improvements we’re constantly making to the Blue Ridge distribution plant. When an area’s growing electrical load requires that we change out conductor to a larger wire size and install stronger poles, that “hardening” works to our advantage. These enhanced facilities are more resistant to damage that weather events, traffic accidents, and the like might inflict on the co-op grid.
- The new substations we add to our network from time to time. When we energize one of these stations, we’re automatically situating good numbers of our members closer to their source of central-station power, inevitably placing them in a position to receive even more-reliable service.
There’s no doubt in my mind that our co-op team applies quality to all of the work actions I’ve just described. That resulting no-outage month of April should make all the Blue Ridge family proud.