Industries Energy/Green

Dominion Virginia Power invests $20 million to upgrade residential transformers

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Dominion Virginia Power has launched a $20 million program to replace older electric transformers in residential neighborhoods. The goal: better reliability for thousands of customers.

The company has replaced more than 700 transformers in residential areas of Northern Virginia, Central Virginia and the Hampton Roads area. An additional 1,400 transformers will be replaced in Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Hampton, Alexandria, Springfield and Richmond.“It takes a lot of infrastructure to keep electricity flowing safely and reliably to our customers,” Rodney Blevins, vice president-distribution operations, said in a statement.  “Keeping it up-to-date and working around-the-clock is a big challenge … This is one example of how we work to fix potential problems before they affect our customers.”

The Neighborhood Transformer Replacement Program is one of several efforts Dominion has underway. Over the next two years, the company said it plans to spend more than $1.7 billion on reliability programs.Under the neighborhood program, the company is focusing on older, overhead transformers at risk of failing, mainly due to overloading. Transformers function on the electric grid to step down higher voltage electricity to the level needed for use in households or businesses. Tyically, transformers typically serve from one to 15 customers.

Most of the replacements are occurring in older neighborhoods where customers have increased electricity usage through additions or by adding more lighting, heating or air conditioning, or simply plugging in more computers, large-screen TV’s and other digital technology. The company expects to complete the program next year.

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