SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A new system to help San Diego Gas & Electric detect and respond to outages faster was started Wednesday, according to the utility.
The Outage Management System uses 1.4 million new "smart" meters and a Geographic Information System to collect detailed information about the electrical grid.
In the case of an outage, the smart meters alert SDG&E's operations center. The utility used to rely on customer reports about power failures.
"The capabilities of the new Outage Management System will make SDG&E one of the most innovative and effective utilities in the U.S. for responding to outages," said David Geier, the utility's vice president of electric operations. "By connecting this system to our extensive network of smart meters, we will have a comprehensive view into the real time state of the grid, which will allow us to identify and restore outages faster due to this amazing technology we have implemented for San Diego."
The company is in the midst of a $3.5 billion, 14-year program to modernize its power grid. SDG&E also said the system enables managers to reroute electricity around damaged circuits.
Geier said automatic notification from the smart meters will enable repair crews to be dispatched immediately. The smart meters also indicate when power is restored.