The new software could cut damage assessment time by about one-third, said
"In the aftermath of a storm, a utility company must physically survey the damage to its system to learn what repairs must be made and determine how long those repairs will take," Clarke told reporters in a quiet suburban neighborhood not far from CL&P's headquarters. "The No. 1 question after a storm is 'when will my power be back?' With this technology and the improvements to our damage assessment process, we'll be able to make those restoration estimates more quickly."
The software was developed by
CL&P calls the people that do the post-storm damage assessments "patrollers," and has about 150 of them, Poirot said. Before implementing this system, the patrollers would go out into the field in teams of two, armed with system maps and reporting forms, he said. "These are people who are system engineers, who when we have good weather are working on designing upgrades to parts of our network," Poirot said. "With our new assessment software, all of the details of our distribution network are available on a computer laptop.
"With a few clicks, the data is entered into the system and is immediately sent back to our headquarters as well as to our procurement centers so that we'll know if we need more utility poles or transformers."
During Sandy, there were more than 16,000 damage locations across the state that had to be assessed, he said.
The term refers to distribution lines along major streets in a community that carry electricity to smaller neighborhoods.The goal when restoring power in large outages is to first restore damage done along the backbone, thereby restoring power to the largest number of customers possible. Flynn said CL&P's patrollers spent the summer training how to use the new software.Poirot said CL&P is the first utility in the country to use this state-of-the art technology, which combines the company's Geographic Information System mapping data with information about the distribution system and GPS street location data.
"We know our state's two major utilities -- UI and CL&P -- are very focused on these goals and CL&P's announcement is further evidence of investments being made to improve storm response and better meet the needs of our residents," Schain said.
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