As part of an initial three-year phase of a grid modernization plan, Toledo Edison is in the midst of updating infrastructure and installing new technology to provide the northwest Ohio electric system greater resilience and flexibility for power restoration.
Electric equipment in two Lucas County substations will be upgraded as part of the effort, while the power lines extended out from them will be modernized. More than 60 automated reclosing devices will be added at the same time. These devices act like circuit breakers, allowing power to be shut off during trouble and automatically reenergize when it is safe for energy to flow. Toledo Edison said this will cut the frequency, length, and scope of outages by allowing its personnel to restore service from afar without having to dispatch a crew first.
“While we cannot eliminate the possibility of outages occurring due to reasons out of our control, like severe weather, we can take steps to minimize the length and impact of service interruptions when they do occur,” Rich Sweeney, regional president of Toledo Edison, said. “The work we’re doing across Toledo will provide new technology and backup power lines for many customers, reducing many power interruptions to just a brief or momentary outage.”
In addition to the updates, new power lines are being built in the region to offer a backup source for customers in the event their primary lines are knocked out by things like storms or vehicle accidents. More than 80 capacitor banks will also be added to equalize the flow of power, reducing energy usage for those at the beginning of a power line and distributing electricity more evenly down the line.
Overall, the modernization effort will benefit areas like Toledo, Maumee, Holland, and more. Additional modernization work for the area is expected to continue through 2022.