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OG&E makes grid improvements to reduce prolonged outages ahead of winter

OG&E crews work to restore power in Forth Smith, Ark.
OG&E crews work to restore power in Forth Smith, Ark.

As winter approaches, Oklahoma Gas & Electric is beefing up their electric grid.

In response to last year's winter storms, OG&E has made a number of repairs to their electrical infrastructure to mitigate outages.

Since the ice storm last October, the utility company says in addition to trimming or removing over 120,000 trees, their crews have replaced nearly 9,000 poles, 4,000 transformers and 500 miles of underground and above ground power lines.

OG&E says updates to technology will aid grid controllers in isolating problems and allow them to work around issues to keep the lights on.

“Investments in the grid are designed to reduce outage frequencies and durations in good weather and bad,” said Andrea Dennis, OG&E Vice President of Transmission and Distribution Operations. “We’ve already seen great results in Arkansas where we first piloted our grid enhancement program in 2018. Our goal is always to provide reliable power to all customers every day without interruption, and to restore any interruptions as quickly and safely as possible.”

Company officials hope the upgrades will prevent widespread, extended outages like the ones caused by winter storms last October and February, as extreme weather becomes more common in Oklahoma.

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