Power outages are never convenient. It takes a lot of hands to keep your power on, and even more hands to get it up and running when an outage occurs. Cass County Electric Cooperative works hard to restore your electric service when outages occur, but there are necessary steps to take to ensure that power is restored to the majority of members as quickly, and safely, as possible.
With CCEC’s Outage Management System (OMS) and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), our power control technicians are often able to narrow down the location and sometimes even the equipment involved in a power outage before line crews are dispatched. This knowledge helps the technicians give crews an idea of what happened, but often times, it takes some detective work to find the source of the problem once crews are on-site.
After a major storm, CCEC line crews must identify which towers, poles and lines have incurred damage. Very rarely, but occasionally in the case of extremely severe storms or tornadoes, transmission towers can be damaged. If that is the case, tens of thousands of members could be affected. Repairing damage to transmission lines is top priority when it comes to restoring power.
High voltage transmission stations feed power to CCEC’s 39 distribution substations, and both transmission lines and substations are property of our power supplier, Minnkota Power Cooperative. Each substation can serve thousands of members. If there is no damage done to transmission towers, the local distribution substations are checked first. If the issue is isolated and can be resolved at the substation level, great! That means thousands of people can get their power restored once repairs are made.
Issues cannot always be isolated to one of our distribution substations. If this is the case, CCEC crews inspect supply lines between the substations and the meters they serve. If the supply lines can be repaired, power can be restored to the towns and homes those lines serve, as long as there is no damage to the tap lines.
Tap lines carry power to the transformers located underground or connected to poles outside of homes and other buildings. CCEC line crews identify which damaged lines to work on first based on which lines will restore power to the greatest number of members.
Power restoration can be a tricky business, so if you lose service in your home or neighborhood please remember the following:
- Stay clear of downed power lines. Contact with these lines could be life threatening.
- Report the outage by calling 701.356.4499 or 888.277.4424 as soon as possible.
We appreciate your patience and cooperation whenever an outage occurs. For the most up-to-date information during large outages, stay connected with us on Twitter and Facebook, and check our live outage viewer at kwh.com.