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Kentucky Power Continues Progress in Reliability Improvement Plan

March 10, 2023

Reliability improvement data can be pointed to as a source of progress at Kentucky Power – it’s evidence that quality assurance efforts are being made continually out in the field to keep the lights on for customers and to ensure that power can be restored quickly when it does go out.

Several Kentucky Power teams, including district operations, engineering, forestry, and the Distribution Dispatching Center (DDC), collaborate on reliability safeguard planning like tree work, equipment replacements and facilities inspections. This plan is generally focused on staying ahead of the typical causes of outages. That is, worn out equipment, exposures to faults and trees falling out of the Right of Way, which continues to be the number one cause for outages in eastern Kentucky.

Reliability reports from 2022 showed our forestry department removed 223,184 trees and trimmed more than 55,000 trees last year to reduce the number of outages caused by fallen trees.

“These are just a couple of the evidential numbers that verify the work we are doing to improve service for our customers,” said Everett Phillips, vice president of distribution.

While tree trimming and removal increased as part of a vegetarian program established to widen the Right of Way throughout the company’s heavily forested service area, another data point also increased in 2022 – the System Average Interruption Duration Index, which calculates the average outage duration for each customer and serves as an industry-wide measurement that all utilities use and are often held accountable to by state regulators.

Justin Holsinger, distribution dispatching supervisor, said the majority cause of the increase can be attributed to July of last year, which was beset with stormy weather early in the month that turned into devastating floods that ravaged the southeastern parts of Kentucky Power’s territory.

“July was a challenging month for us in terms of reliability. More than one-fifth of our total customer minutes of interruption (CMI) for the year occurred in July,” Holsinger reported. “Weather was the biggest contributing factor. Overall, we experienced more weather events in 2022 than any other year in recent past.”

Despite CMI spike last year, Holsinger pointed to data from years past that show a trend in a positive direction. “That’s a good indication our reliability improvement plans are working effectively,” he said.

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