Daily Maintenance Equals A Better Electric Grid
How the Co-op achieves a better electric grid every day.
While the Cooperative carries out long-term planning projects on a large scale that help us manage our electric grid, there are many daily tasks that our linemen do day in and day out to ensure our grid is running at full capacity.
Servicemen are assigned specific sections of our territory, and during the day, they patrol the lines and look for any signs of visible damage or other possible red flags, including:
Abused equipment, whether it be overhead or in the ground; switches can deteriorate from weather exposure or from critters tampering or taking residence within;
Possible vegetation management issues like trees growing too close to the lines, or vines climbing up poles;
Poles that are leaning or past their lifespan;
Transformers mounted on the ground can get hit by cars or farm equipment and eventually, wear out due to weather. Transformers can also be affected by flooding, meaning that the transformer might need to be raised;
Protecting equipment in need of specialized covers so that birds, rodents, and reptiles (just to name a few) can’t access the equipment; and
Damage made to our equipment as a result of a traffic accident.
In addition, Servicemen also check in on all of our substations to make sure our equipment is running smoothly and securely.
Another unique factor that can affect the reliability of our system is saltwater air. Saltwater damages equipment in the open air at a faster rate than typical industry standards, and marshlands and water literally eat away at guy wires. There is also erosion and the constant reevaluation of the pole placement when they are located close to the coastline. Over time, even underground wires can be affected by moisture in the ground. Animals can also cause equipment to short-circuit and can cause severe damage in a substation if they gain access.
While some outages cannot be prevented, know that Choptank Electric Cooperative maintains its systems every day to ensure that our members’ electric grid is running at its best to deliver the most reliable, affordable electricity.