Duquesne Light Company to open operations center to benefit customers

PITTSBURGH — When severe weather knocks out electric service, power companies work around the clock to get the lights back on.

Duquesne Light has invested millions of dollars to speed up the process through a new operations center.

“To get closer to your house we go to the main page this breaks it down to the actual transformer you are on,” said Robert Felax who’s the Senior Manager of Distribution Operations at Duquesne Light.

This new move is taking the operations center off the paper maps.

“Instead of getting 50 to 60 trouble tickets we will have one and send somebody out to that portion of the circuit right away instead of waiting for those tickets to come in,” Felax said.

A change that will directly impact you at home.

“We will be able to provide as I see it, faster service for you and most likely more reliable service and hopefully reduce those outages,” Felax said.

With this new digital operations center, the hope is that the technology will be able to predict some outages and even fix the issues before they ever happen.

“We have over 600,000 customers mostly between Allegheny and Beaver Counties,” Felax said.

So, the next time you call to report an outage, this is where your call goes. In the storms, this is the mother ship of your electric.

“We are able to see that trouble ticket, look on our maps determine where that is and dispatch accordingly. If it is a larger outage where we see equipment operating on the system we get alarms and are able to pull it up on our computer system,” said James Stack who’s Duquesne Light GM of the Operations Center.

The overall goal with this investment is evolution for both the company and customers at home.

“Customers will be able to have a lot more visibility to see that an outage has been identified if they are impacted by it, get a little more update on when a crew is dispatched and more immediate updates on their estimated times of restoration,” Stack said.

This new operation center is officially launching in January and the whole system will be moved over by next summer.

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