There are seven steps PGE takes to restore power:
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1. Protect public safety.
Crews clear live power lines and repair equipment that poses a public safety hazard. To stay on the safe side, PGE responds to all downed line inquiries even if they may be telephone wires or television cables. In addition, PGE also prioritizes public health and safety facilities such as hospitals, clinics and utilities (water, sewer, natural gas and telephone).
2. Restoration begins; generation facilities checked.
The initial step checks the power source, typically a generating plant that may meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of customers. If these facilities are damaged or knocked out, repairs are critical to restoring the system.
3. Repair transmission lines.
Transmission lines are the superhighways of our system, moving electricity from generating plants to the substations that further distribute power. Because transmission lines serve thousands, or hundreds of thousands of customers, they are also one of PGE’s highest priorities, and crews begin working on these lines immediately.
4. Repair substations.
Substations are the next critical link in the chain. They receive power from high-voltage transmission lines and reduce the voltage for residential and business consumption. Substations act as a distribution and switching system.
5. Repair feeder lines.
Feeder lines are like arterial streets, running from a substation to neighborhood networks, typically serving 1,000 to 3,000 customers. These usually are the lines affected when you hear news reports about an outage.
6. Repair tap lines.
Tap lines move power from the feeder lines down individual streets. Generally, there are 20-30 homes served by one tap line, with fewer homes in isolated or rural areas. Customers may see a crew assess the damage and drive away without immediately restoring power. This may happens when the work requires more equipment or additional crew members because of extensive damage, or because of an urgent call elsewhere. A crew will return to make the repair.
7. Connect individual customers whose power is out.
This is the most difficult and time-consuming step. Individual PGE crews must visit individual homeowner’s property in order to repair lines to a single dwelling. Homes likely to be restored last are in isolated areas where buildings are far apart or places where downed trees obstruct crews from working. During this final and important step, crews also repair equipment and poles that serve a single house.
Helping the largest number of customers
In each step, after safety needs are met, PGE prioritizes the repair job that gets the most customers back on line. The company greatly appreciates everyone’s patience in waiting for their electricity to be restored.