CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Duke Energy crews finally get a break after working hours to keep the holiday lights on.
Strong wind and storms knocked out power to a lot of customers.
On Friday, around 200,00 customers were in the dark, the number went down to 40,000 by nightfall, but the cold temperatures remained.
“The extreme cold resulted in some challenges across the system,” said Duke Energy spokesperson Jeff Brooks. “In being able to meet customer’s energy needs, and that resulted in the need to take a very unusual and emergency step of taking some controlled temporary outages across the system.”
Those outages took out power to plenty more customers, but the company says it was done with precision as a group of workers watched grid performance while others repaired lines.
“The system will look for where it has needs for energy,” said Brooks. “It will look for where it can take a temporary outage to free up that energy to serve other customers so that we don’t have more outages.”
The final ask made by Duke Energy officials was to have customers conserve energy on Sunday night.
Turn down the heat, not run appliances, and the move was successful.
Duke workers think that will be the last time that request is made in connection to this storm.
“Unfortunately, the need occurred very quickly,” added Brooks. “So that was why we couldn’t do as much proactive communication as we typically would. I know that was frustrating for some customers, but we were really working as quickly as we could to keep the grid protected and maintain reliability.”
Governor Roy Cooper has asked Duke Energy for a full report on what went wrong over the weekend and any changes that will be made to the grid moving forward.