DESTIN, Florida – Gulf Power’s renovation to a substation in Destin, Florida, equipped it with new technology that can dramatically reduce the time it takes to restore power to customers during outages.
The project took six months and included infrastructure improvements to upgrade the reliability and performance of the energy delivery systems and technology to potentially reduce the length of outages for the Destin Area.
The upgrades include new equipment such as self-healing controls that are designed to restore power automatically under certain conditions. The devices contain technology that can monitor the energy grid and automatically react which aids in faster restoration times and a fewer number of customers affected by an outage. A new fortified structure protects the new equipment and can withstand winds up to 150 mph.
“This project is one of the major investments we’re making in our energy delivery systems to continue to improve reliability for customers across the region,” said Rick DelaHaya, Gulf Power spokesperson. “Projects such as this will help enhance the everyday service we provide our customers.”
Originally built around 1965 and last upgraded in 2001, this latest upgrade almost completely rebuilt the substation. A substation is a facility where high-voltage electricity from energy sources is stepped down to be safely distributed to homes and businesses. The upgrades ensure the substation has up-to-date technology and equipment to increase service reliability for customers.
The new upgrades also lessen the need to send service technicians to troubleshoot, and lets employees identify possible issues remotely which helps them quickly reroute power to minimize outage time.
Before the upgrades, technicians, who work out of the Fort Walton Beach office, could sometimes be stuck in the heavy spring/summer traffic for an hour before getting to the substation to restore the power.
“So, in many cases, instead of an hour-long outage or more, outage restoration may be completed automatically in a fraction of the time,” said DelaHaya.
This is one of the many projects Gulf Power is investing in for the long-term reliability of Northwest Florida’s energy infrastructure, added DelaHaya.
“From investing in technologies and upgrades, to adding renewables to our portfolio, we are making sure customers can count on us for their energy needs today and well into the future.”