Service Reliability Practices
Copper Valley Electric's mission is to provide exceptional customer service through safe, reliable, cost-effective electric service and programs. In the electric industry reliability refers to a utility's ability to provide electricity to its consumers. CVEA does many things to maintain and enhance electric system reliability.
Transmission line inspections – CVEA performs multiple aerial inspections annually on the transmission line looking for damaged or failing components, towers, conductor, etc. More in-depth aerial and ground based inspections ae performed periodically.
Distribution line maintenance – Line patrols are conducted periodically and in some cases after major events to identify issues with distribution lines. Right-of-way issues such as danger trees, equipment trouble such as broken insulators, and other problems are identified. Distribution line issues are reported to the Operations Manager who prioritizes and schedules the repair work.
Right-of-way clearing – Tree and brush clearing in the utility's right of way can help reduce the number of outages and enable emergency repairs to be completed faster, reducing the length of outages.
Generation preventative maintenance – Maintenance and inspections at each of the five generation plants are performed on a regular basis. At the hydro plants water flow, temperatures, pressures, and many other items are monitored every day, in addition to many scheduled routine inspections and repairs. In the diesel plants, inspections are performed to try to catch potential problems that can be caused by the major forces of heat and vibration. The cogeneration plant undergoes similar inspections and preventative maintenance to ensure long term reliability.
System design and improvements – The Engineering, Operations and Production Departments continually look for ideas to improve reliability. Protective relays detect and isolate electrical faults; oil circuit reclosers automatically reset themselves if the problem that caused them to open, for example a tree branch contacting the line, is no longer present. Looped feed systems allow a section of line to be isolated while work is being completed so that the remaining sections may be reenergized. Production plant control systems and alarms identify problems so that other production units can be brought online and before an outage or system disturbance is ever seen by a consumer.
Why We Do This
All of this and more is done by your cooperative to ensure that your electricity stays on and, when it does go out, that it can be restored as quickly as possible.