PSEG Long Island makes several improvements to storm-harden the grid

Published on October 31, 2019 by Dave Kovaleski

© Shutterstock

PSEG Long Island has made several infrastructure improvements to shore up its grid since Superstorm Sandy hit the New York region in 2012.

The improvements have helped gird the utility against extreme weather events.

“Our employees have been hard at work for almost six years working to provide our customers with the most reliable service possible,” John O’ Connell, vice president Transmission & Distribution, PSEG Long Island, said. “Each week, approximately 4 miles of the electric system is hardened against storms, 44 miles of trees are trimmed, and 120 old poles are replaced.”

PSEG Long Island, which took over the grid in 2014, has launched several programs to strengthen the grid and improve system reliability. Among the improvements, more than 320 distribution circuits have been upgraded, and more than 938 circuit miles have been storm-hardened. Further, 24,815 poles have been replaced and they are capable of withstanding winds up to 135 mph. Also, shorter cross arms on poles have been installed to help deflect falling limbs, instead of cradling them. In addition, 2,382 miles of thicker insulated wires have been put in place to lessen the likelihood a branch will cause an electric problem if it touches the electric wires. Additionally, 887 automatic switching units have been installed to minimize the number of customers that are affected when equipment fails.

In 2019, there were 42 percent fewer outages due to the company’s storm-hardening efforts.

Further, PSEG Long Island has launched an effort to trim the entire system on a four-year cycle, instead of the previous five-year cycle. The company has already completed one full trim and is about halfway through its second trim. In 2018, PSEG Long Island trimmed hazardous tree limbs along 3,000 miles of overhead lines and removed more than 11,000 hazardous trees and/or large limbs.

Finally, PSEG Long Island also launched a new website that’s easier to navigate and includes an outage map.