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Eversource outlines actions taken to fortify electric system

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With New England weather known to be unpredictable and fierce—often with the potential to cause massive destruction—Eversource knows being prepared for storms is critical throughout the year. In recognition of National Hurricane Preparedness Week, the energy company is highlighting its year-round work to strengthen the grid and prepare in advance of severe weather and encouraging customers to also plan ahead. When power outages do happen, the energy company restores power as quickly and safely as possible and wants to help customers better understand how the restoration process works.

“Severe weather can strike at any time, that’s why emergency preparedness is a top priority and constant focus for us,” said Eversource NH President Joe Purington. “As part of our efforts to strengthen our storm response following Tropical Storm Isaias, we’re upgrading and refining our Emergency Response Plan and implementing new processes, systems and staffing to ensure that we’re well prepared for hurricane season. For example, in our annual meetings with communities, we’re introducing our innovative municipal hub that will be officially rolled out this summer. The new portal will be a key tool for our community liaisons to better communicate with municipalities as we address their priorities, critical facilities, and blocked roads during storms.”

As the changing climate increases the frequency and severity of storms, Eversource is constantly working to modernize and strengthen the electric system to help ensure safe and reliable service for its customers. This includes strategic investments in innovative technology to upgrade the grid, such as  “smart switches” that enable system operators to isolate power outages and remotely reroute power from another source within minutes; “smart fuses” that automatically restore power to customers when a tree limb temporarily contacts wires and help to protect the electric system when a problem is detected, such as a current surge or overload; and optical ground wire (OPGW) that enhances communication between company facilities and protects the high-voltage transmission system from severe weather conditions, such as lightning strikes.

“While we can’t prevent storms from happening, customers depend on us to restore power as quickly and safely as possible, and we take that responsibility seriously,” added Purington. “We track multiple weather sources closely every day all year long and have crews working 24/7. We keep our warehouse and work centers around the state fully stocked at all times to ensure that we’re prepared to respond to any damage or outages a storm may cause—whenever a storm hits—and we maintain the flexibility to move those resources around the state as necessary.”

With trees being the number one cause of power outages during storms, the energy company’s comprehensive year-round tree trimming program is another critical component of its constant preparedness efforts. Trimming and removing hazardous trees that threaten overhead electric lines is crucial to providing customers with reliable power in all types of weather, and the energy company is investing more than $27 million for tree trimming this year.

Eversource also reminds customers to take steps to prepare for hurricane season at home and know what to do before, during, and after a storm. Have an emergency plan in place, stock a storm kit with essential items (including pet food and medications), plan a meeting place for family members, and be ready to check on neighbors.

For more information on Eversource’s emergency preparedness efforts and restoration process, visit Eversource.com.

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