How We Restore Power
BEAUMONT August 24, 2015 – When a storm passes, Entergy personnel must assess damage to electric equipment and facilities to determine corrective actions.
In extremely cold conditions, customers may notice that if an outage occurs, regardless of the cause (wind, ice, etc.), restoration follows a slightly different process:
Rather than simply energizing an entire power line all at once, we must bring customers back online one section at a time to avoid further outages and more damage to the electrical system.
When temperatures are extreme, customers use more electricity, keeping the heat on in the winter or air conditioning running in the summer. (Electric heaters in particular will often run continuously, creating a constant power demand.) This creates a high rate of demand for all power on the electrical system.
When power is disrupted during winter, many customers leave their heating systems and appliances turned on, creating a large volume of energy demand, all at once, when power is restored.
Restoring all the customers on a given line has the potential to create a large, instantaneous power demand. That demand could be higher than the built-in protective devices on a line can handle, meaning equipment could trip offline or sustain more damage.
We have devices in place that protect our system during times of normal, day-to-day operations, power demand and most weather contingencies. But during weather extremes, we must change our processes to both protect our system and do the right thing by our customers. That means restoring power in a way that best ensures safety and reliability for all.
You can help by turning off your electric heating systems, lights and appliances during an outage. Once power has been restored, turn them back on one at a time, over a period of time. This will help avoid a sudden power demand.
During extreme cold weather conditions, these specific restoration challenges are experienced not just by Entergy, but throughout the industry and the country.