UI Completes Infrastructure Projects, Wins Industry Award for Outstanding Reliability
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
United Illuminating Completes Infrastructure Projects,
Wins Industry Award for Outstanding Reliability
ORANGE, Conn. – Jan. 11, 2017 – The United Illuminating Company completed key infrastructure upgrade projects in 2016 and was recognized for providing outstanding reliability to its customers.
UI, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), has been upgrading its distribution infrastructure to improve the resiliency and reliability of its electric system. The company recently was recognized by PA Consulting Group, Inc. as a recipient of its 2016 ReliabilityOne™ Award for Outstanding Midsize Utility. The award honors U.S. investor-owned utilities that deliver reliability performance in the top 95th percentile in their category.
“Over the years, UI has been hard at work to provide reliable service to customers. Our investments in our system include substation upgrades and vegetation management, as well as incorporating new technology that has proven to reduce the duration of outages,” said Joseph D. Thomas, UI’s vice president for Electric System Operations.
The consulting group selected provisional award recipients based on 2015 reliability results, then followed up with an on-site certification process and independent review before issuing the awards in November. The group found a typical UI customer had just a 50 percent likelihood of experiencing a power interruption of 5 minutes or longer during a given year, and interruptions lasted an average of about 94 minutes when they did occur.
“Our field and office employees work hard and make a commitment to providing quality customer service each and every day. Their efforts continuously improve on our system designs, maintenance practices and new and efficient operating approaches, yielding positive reliability results,” Thomas said.
UI made significant progress on upgrading its electric system in 2016. The year saw the completion of major projects to retire its aging 4-kilovolt Gilbert and Westville substations in New Haven and convert the surrounding circuits to a more modern 13.8-kilovolt standard.
Over the course of the last decade, the company has decommissioned 36 of the 40 low-voltage distribution substations in its service territory, and more than 95 percent of its circuits are now integrated with the modern, higher-voltage system. From a customer perspective, these efforts are expected to improve restoration times and overall reliability of service.
“Our customers can almost take it for granted that when they flip the switch, the light comes on. But a lot of planning and work go into making sure that happens,” said Richard J. Reed, vice president for Engineering and Project Excellence at UI.
The company also in 2016 completed key components an ongoing $56.4 million “Operational Excellence” initiative to digitize and streamline its response and restoration capabilities. This initiative includes projects such as advanced weather modeling, customer text alerts, digital dispatching, mobile-equipped field crews and vehicle tracking for crews and contractors.
“Technology and innovation can take electric customers’ reliability experience to entirely new levels,” said Derek HasBrouck, PA Consulting Group’s ReliabilityOne™ Program Director. “United Illuminating is among the industry leaders in applying new technologies to benefit customers and demonstrating how innovation can be implemented across the organization to deliver technology’s potential to customers today.”
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About AVANGRID: AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) is a diversified energy and utility company with more than
$30 billion in assets and operations in 25 states. The company operates regulated utilities and electricity generation through two primary lines of business. Avangrid Networks includes eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving
3.1 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables operates 6.3 gigawatts of electricity capacity, primarily through wind power, in states across the United States. AVANGRID employs 7,000 people.
The company was formed by a merger between Iberdrola USA and UIL Holdings Corporation in 2015. IBERDROLA S.A. (Madrid: IBE), a worldwide leader in the energy industry, owns 81.5% of AVANGRID. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.
About UI: The United Illuminating Company (UI), established in 1899, is engaged in the purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity and related services to approximately 328,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas of Connecticut. UI is a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR). For more information, visit www.uinet.com.