While Chugach monitors its power system 24/7, we don’t have crews on standby for outages 24/7. That enables us to keep costs down and electricity more affordable for our members.
Chugach is notified of outages via our Metering/Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system, commonly referred to as SCADA, which is in operation 24/7, and we typically are made aware of outages within minutes of them occurring. Once Dispatch is aware of an outage, the response begins.
The first thing the dispatcher does is assess the outage, determine its size, location, and sometimes a probable cause. Generally, however, cause is not ascertainable until the crew gets to the site. The dispatcher then decides the appropriate crew size and initiates the call out. Chugach maintains a list of qualified personnel to respond to outages and, once the call out is complete, it takes time for the personnel to report to work, get the tools and materials required, and head to the outage. Travel time can be impacted by weather and road conditions. Once the crew reaches the site, linemen will assess the outage, determine whether they need additional assets (people, equipment, materials) to complete the repairs.
During an outage response, it is common for additional outages to occur, especially during bad weather. Depending on the location and type of outage, this may be added to the work of the crew already in the field, or additional crews are called in. Unfortunately, it is not possible to dispatch personnel to each individual outage the moment they occur. The process of calling in and assembling crews for outage response after hours can take several hours alone.
Chugach’s goal is to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. We want the power back on just as much as our members do!