Local News

Progress Energy Uses New Technology To Watch For Potential Outages

Posted July 16, 2003 8:10 a.m. EDT

— July is one of the peak seasons for electricity use in North Carolina and Progress Energy is using some high-tech gear to make sure its customers do not lose power.

Progress Energy's

system provides power to 1.3 million customers in the Carolinas, but sometimes the power is not there. Last February in Apex,

a transformer fire

left the town without power when temperatures were in the teens.

"Of course, we want to prevent those sorts of failures by applying diagnostics and getting out ahead of them," said Jeff Lyash, vice-president of Progress Energy.

With the help of a new infrared camera, officials can learn about potential power problems.

"They take this camera and they have it mounted in their vehicles driving down the road [and] looking at the distribution lines. They're trying to find a hot spot in the camera," engineer Glenn Lampley said.

The idea for the new technology is to stop an outage before it happens.

"Power is one of those commodities that people expect to be there every time they turn on the switch, and that's not an unreasonable expectation. That's what we're in the business of delivering," Lyash said.

Progress Energy officials said they have reduced outages in the Carolinas by 37 percent in the past four years. You can report outages or anything you believe to be a potential problem by calling