Grays Harbor PUD reports total power outages down in 2013

ABERDEEN – The Grays Harbor Public Utility District power infrastructure performed admirably in 2013. Working against recent trends, the total number of power outages and total number of customer hours without power were down in 2013, according to a report presented to the PUD commissioners on Tuesday.

“This is great news for the district and our customers,” said PUD Board President Russ Skolrood. “Having a reliable system is of the utmost importance and there are still improvements that can be made, but I am proud of the advances made by our maintenance crews in 2013.”

2013 saw PUD crews respond to 563 total outages, which is 11 percent lower than the five-year average and well below the 2012 total of 731. Those outages left customers without power for a total of 154,092 hours – 14 percent below the five-year average. September was the busiest month for PUD crews with 101 outages, while system burnouts (line fuse, transformer fuse or failed conductor) were the leading causes of outages with 87. Scheduled outages had the biggest impact on customer hours (53,045).

Weather related outages made up a large portion of the 2013 totals, with 49 outages attributed to broken or fallen trees, 35 attributed to lightning strikes, 24 attributed to storms and 19 attributed to wind.

“There are some power outages we can work to avoid through tree trimming and vegetation management,” said Skolrood. “Moving forward we will review these causes to ensure that we are improving data for tree trimming and asset management to build on system reliability.”

Some stations throughout the system were more impacted than others. The Montesano station suffered the highest number of outages with 68. Ocean Shores suffered 67, the Elma 12-Kv station had 64 outages and the Cedarville station reported 59.