CREWE – Southside Electric Cooperative recently completed yet another phase in its ongoing system-wide reliability improvement project, underscoring the co-op’s commitment to ensure that all members benefit from the most dependable and reliable electrical grid possible. George Felts, SEC manager of engineering & operations, noted: "Improving reliability remains a top priority for the cooperative – our members have made that clear and we’ve listened. In fact, we’re now in the 6th year of a continuous work plan cycle that has placed a strong emphasis on system reliability throughout. The types of improvements we’ve recently made in Amelia have also been made at other critical areas around our service territory where our data has told us they’re most needed."
The following photos show SEC lineman at work during a pre-planned outage in Amelia County, along various distribution lines connected to the Ponton Substation. The recent project, which involves increasing the voltage at each transformer from 7,200 volts up to 14,400 volts, was an "all-hands-on-deck" event and brought lineman from several different SEC district offices. By increasing voltage, the amperage is cut by half, which doubles the capacity of the power line. The net effect for SEC members is a significant improvement in reliability, ensuring both fewer and shorter interruptions in service.
Headquartered in Crewe, SEC is a member-owned electric distribution utility serving more than 54,000 residential and commercial meters throughout southern and central Virginia. For more information about SEC, please visit us on the web @ www.sec.coop.
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Linemen are briefed by Steve Cox, SEC Director of Operations Services (2nd from left), prior to deployment for a scheduled system upgrade. This recent operation is part of SEC’s ongoing reliability improvements taking place across cooperative service territory. (Photo: Along U.S. Rt. 360 in Amelia County)
SEC lineman Donnell Taylor performs a voltage conversion at a transformer - changing the setting and installing the proper fuse - part of SEC’s ongoing reliability improvements. Lineman must often access electrical lines without the aid of mechanical bucket equipment in places where trucks cannot safely access an electric utility pole.
SEC linemen Tony Kemp (in foreground) and Ben Simmons (in bucket) change the setting and replace the fuse of an SEC transformer. Further down the line another SEC bucket truck (in background), prepares to complete the same operation as part of scheduled reliability upgrades.
SEC lineman Wayne Paulett opens bypass switches at an SEC substation to de-energize several circuits. The scheduled outages allowed SEC lineman to make necessary reliability upgrades to each transformer along the circuit. These ongoing upgrades will double the capacity of the distribution line, greatly improving the reliability of electric service for SEC members by reducing the possibility of blinks and extended outages. (Photo: Ponton Substation in Amelia County)