climate goals

US utility Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) is installing automated reclosing devices on its distribution lines to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages.

The 1,700 new ‘TripSaver’ works like a circuit breaker, in the event of an interruption, it automatically re-energizes a power line within seconds to keep power safely flowing to customers.

Installations will be made on 310 circuits by the end of 2020.

The device isolates an outage affecting a particular line from the main power line to avoid an interruption across a larger area.

The system will help JCP&L workers to pinpoint the location of a fault and help them understand the cause of an outage.

The project is part of a $97 million Reliability Plus Infrastructure Investment Programme designed to address tree damage to the distribution system.

Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L, said: “TripSaver installations are just one of many JCP&L Reliability Plus enhancements designed to help reduce the frequency of power outages and modernize the electric grid for JCP&L’s customers.

“The addition of these devices will make restoring service an automatic process rather than sending a crew to investigate. This new technology is safer, more efficient and cost-effective.”

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Nicholas Nhede
Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.