Improving Electric System Reliability

Electricity powers our lives. We’re working harder than ever to build a smarter, more resilient electric grid to reduce power outages and seamlessly connect clean energy sources to our system. 

Our efforts have had a significant impact for our New Hampshire customers, with outages down nearly 38 percent from 2018 to 2019.

We achieved this by modernizing our electric system and enhancing our maintenance practices.

We’re focused on modernizing our electric system to improve reliability and seamlessly connect more clean energy resources onto our system.

This includes expanding grid automation to build a self-healing electric system that can restore power as soon as an outage occurs. This technology optimizes the grid by helping to prevent energy waste, too.

Smart Fuses

We’ve invested more than $3 million to install more than 700 smart fuses by the end of 2020. 

These smart fuses can:

  • Automatically restore power when a fuse opens, like when a tree limb temporarily contacts a wire
  • Protect the electric system when a problem is detected, such as a current surge or overload

Smart Switches

We've installed more than 1,230 smart switches over the last five years.

These devices can isolate a power outage and enable system operators to remotely reroute power to customers from a backup source in minutes. 

More Durable Infrastructure

To help withstand stronger storms, we're upgrading our infrastructure using more durable materials.

We are:

  • Replacing utility poles along the street with more durable structures
  • Replacing standard electric wire with hundreds of miles of covered wire
  • Replacing wooden high-voltage transmission structures with stronger steel structures

Vegetation Management

Trees are the number one cause of power outages in New England. Our responsible tree-trimming programs focus on removing branches and hazardous trees along more than 2,500 miles of roads annually before they come down on our electric lines and cause outages.

System Monitoring and Inspection

We're always evaluating and adopting new processes, best practices and technology to further improve the way we maintain and operate our systems.

This includes:

  • Regular surveys of our electric and gas systems
  • Inspecting lines with drones—an effective, low-cost way to identify any potential issues