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BPU’s Power Outage Restoration Protocols

BPU’s Power Outage Restoration Protocols

The Step-by-Step Processes Required to Get Power Restored After a Major Outage Event (with Infographic )

(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) works year-round to maintain a dependable and reliable electric system, but when extreme weather hits power outages can occur. Restoring power after a major outage involves much more than throwing a switch or removing a tree from a line. The main goal is to restore power safely to the greatest number of customers in the shortest amount of time – prioritizing public health and public safety while minimizing disruption and inconvenience.

If a widespread outage occurs, BPU follows specific industry Outage Restoration Processes and Protocols for restoring power quickly and safely to the entire community. This includes Assessing Storm Damage to identify required resources, establishing Repair Plans, Prioritizing Restoration Work, and Mobilizing Additional Crews if needed. Depending on the extent of damage and the size of the outage, this methodical step-by-step process can take time as BPU’s electric generation, transmission, and distribution system spans a 135 sq. mile area, with more than 60,000 transmission and distribution poles, 3,000+ miles of electric lines, 13,600 transformers, and 19,000 streetlights.

To highlight the power restoration protocols it adheres to, BPU has created an easy-toread Infographic at www.bpu.com/restore that summarizes the procedures the utility utilizes first to identify the extent of problem, and then work to fix them. These include:

  1. Check Generation Facilities Power plants are the most critical component in the system, producing and generating the energy we need.
  2. Repair Transmission Lines Transmission lines deliver power to substations, and when damaged, can disrupt power to tens of thousands of customers. These must be repaired before other parts of the system can operate.
  3. Repair Substations Substations distribute power to several thousand customers. When a problem can be solved at this level, power can be restored to large groups of customers at once if there aren’t problems further down the line. Sometimes, power can be rerouted to customers from a different substation while a repair is made.
  4. Repair Main Distribution Lines Main distribution lines, which carry power away from substations to multiple neighborhoods or business areas are then checked. When power is restored at this level, all customers served by these lines see the lights come one, unless the problem is further down the line.
  5. Prioritize Public Health & Safety Facilities Ensuring hospitals, police facilities, fire stations, and other critical public functions have power and are able to provide services.
  6. Repair Neighborhood Tap Lines and Transformers The final supply lines, called tap lines, carry power to utility poles or transformers outside houses, businesses, or other buildings – and can be impacted by falling trees or limbs. Line crews fix the remaining outages based on restoring service to the largest number of customers, and include removing and installation of new poles, transformers, etc.
  7. Repair Individual Service Lines Sometimes damage will occur on the line between your home and the transformer on a nearby pole. This explains why you have no power when your neighbor does. BPU needs to know when you have an outage here, so crews can be dispatched to repair it. The line crews must tackle these repairs to every single connection one at a time – which is labor intensive and time consuming.

BPU customers can track power outages real time online or via mobile device 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – staying informed of electric outages in their neighborhood using the BPU Power Outage Map tool. Providing a birds-eye view of the entire service area, customers can see outages “live” down to the street level at outage.bpu.com. To alert BPU about a power outage in their area, customers should call 913-573-9522.



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