Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene, which caused destruction and power outages throughout the state for multiple days.
With three more months left in hurricane season, National Grid has decided to invest money into their 2012 Infrastructure Safety & Reliability Plan to prevent what occurred during Irene.
Last August, the storm resulted in more than 344,000 power outages in Rhode Island.
Because of this, National Grid designed a plan that will help the company better prepare for severe weather, restore power quicker and communicate with customers and public safety officials.
To make all this happen, National Grid will be investing $60 million into their plan.
Spokesperson for National Grid, David Graves explained that the money being invested was built into the rate base that the company charges its customers.
He said every year a certain amount of money goes back into the system for future upgrades and these funds were included in the rate adjustment that occurred in April.
Through this new plan, the company hopes to upgrade power lines, replace poles, install new transformers and improve substation operations in Rhode Island.
Graves said many times there is damage done to the system due to poor weather conditions.
â€śEven when lightening strikes in the area of our power lines, there may not be visual damage but over time it may result in wear and tear on transformers,â€ť he said. â€śWe have a maintenance program where we take a look at our power lines and their age and weather conditions and we can identify areas where upgrades are needed.â€ť
He said National Grid will be building new equipment at their substations that will allow them to get power restored more quickly in case of another severe storm.
â€śConsidering the amount of damage caused by the storm, the number of customers who were without electricity and the duration of some of those outages, we needed to look at our preparation and restoration practices in a new light,â€ť said Timothy F. Horan, president of National Grid in Rhode Island. â€śBut, first and foremost, we need to continue to strengthen the reliability of the system.â€ť
For the full story please purchase a copy of the Times.