When the Lights Go Off, LP&L is On
From a warm sunny day to a winter storm, the Lubbock Power & Light (LP&L) Distribution team is constantly monitoring Lubbock’s electric grid.
“When the lights go off, it’s our job to do whatever we can to get them back on safely,” said substation and operations manager Scott Harrison. “Our department might not be communicating directly with the customer, but we like to think we provide customer service by providing good, reliable power.”
24 hours a day, seven days a week, the more than 100 LP&L employees are working behind the scenes and in the field to make sure the people of Lubbock can go about their daily routines without a sudden power outage. It’s not easy monitoring each and every corner of the city’s grid, so like most utilities, LP&L relies on technology like the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. With this system, LP&L can spot trouble early on.
“In the unfortunate event there is a disturbance on our system, we work with every distribution department and various other city departments to determine what those disturbances are, clear them and restore power as quickly and safely as possible,” said SCADA Operator Cody Kirk.
If the power goes out in a particular area of the city, SCADA will alert the Distribution department. From there, the department moves into rapid response-mode, setting into motion dispatchers, technical experts and the line workers you often see working around town.
While the technology saves valuable time and resources, it doesn’t always paint a full picture of the situation. That’s where Kirk says customers play a big role.
“When a customer calls in and reports what they’re experiencing in their home, that helps our department narrow down where the problem is located and what the problem may be,” said Kirk.
LP&L is also looking to implement new technology to make the power restoration process more efficient and less burdensome on the customer. The utility is looking to implement advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) which will proactively alert dispatchers when a meter goes out and give vital information to further enhance their rapid response capabilities. It’s just another way that LP&L is implementing modern technology to better serve their customers.
With all of the over 100 members of the Distribution team living and working in Lubbock, they know firsthand the frustration and impact an interruption of electric service can have to an individual or business. And like everyone else in the community, they just want to do their jobs well.
“If your power’s off, we want it back on just as much as you do. It’s a win-win for both the customer and us,” said Harrison.
To report an electric outage, email or text us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or callto reach our 24-hour outage alert hotline. Please be sure to give your name, address, a phone number and any other information about the nature of your outage that may help our team.