The Grays Harbor PUD reports that customer power outages and total outage hours plummeted in 2016, making the years reliability numbers some of the best in recent memory.
“Reliability is a critical component of the PUD’s mission,” said General Manager Dave Ward. “These numbers tell us that our mission and responsibility to our customers is being fulfilled.”
Much like the previous year, the total number of significant outages (50 or more customers) rose in 2016 to 369, but was still 19% under the five year average. Remarkably the total customer outages fell from 83,755 in 2015 to 59,334 in 2016 while the total customer outage hours fell from 303,880 in 2015 to 171,220.
“I am so proud of the story these numbers tell,” said PUD Commission President Arie Callaghan. “Every year, the PUD system endures blow after blow from storms and downed trees and yet each year our reliability numbers remain strong. That tells our customers that their utility is meeting its responsibility to keep the power moving and their system functioning.”
Downed trees and wind storms continue to be the leading cause of outages in Grays Harbor, resulting in 152 service interruptions, or 77% of the utility outages in 2016. The most commonly impacted areas included the north and south shores of Lake Quinault and the North River, Copalis Beach, Elma Gate and Elma McCleary Roads.
“Moving forward, these numbers tell us the areas on which we need to continue our vegetation management focus,” said Ward. “As we continue our tree trimming cycle and assemble our capital budget for the coming year, these high outage areas will be the focus of our attention to ensure that the utility resources are directed where they are most needed.”