At Pepco, we work around the clock to deliver safe, reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy for our customers and communities in the District of Columbia. Even with the dedicated work of our crews and contractors, outages sometimes do occur on the system, such as the recent event at the Florida Avenue substation impacting customers in several neighborhoods in Northwest DC.
Understanding the impact any outage can have on our customers, Pepco worked to keep our customers and the community informed while safely restoring service as quickly as possible. Throughout this event, Pepco was in contact with government officials, emergency management partners, and other agencies, and community leaders. We also were in close contact with large customers, including hospitals, and proactively contacted those customers who were without service the longest as we worked to restore service to all customers.
The recent outages were caused by an issue at our Florida Avenue substation. As you may know, a substation is not a power plant. A substation receives higher voltage power from transmission or high voltage distribution lines, lowers the voltage of the electricity, and distributes electricity to the surrounding neighborhood for use in homes, businesses, schools and more. As the energy provider for the District, Pepco safely operates 49 substations in all eight Wards.
This event caused extensive damage to equipment at the substation, including damage to multiple transformers, which are large pieces of equipment that serve as the heart of the substation. We immediately began investigating options to both repair the damage and replace the equipment. Our crews worked to locate the equipment needed from our sister utilities and from other utilities in the region. Pepco also worked closely with a substation contractor to fabricate equipment on site to repair and reconnect two of the transformers that were damaged during the event. This innovative approach and collaborative effort resulted in the energizing of existing critical equipment and restoration of service for customers faster than otherwise would have occurred and allowed us to quickly procure mobile transformers to provide backup support while permanent repairs proceed.
Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers, communities, and our employees. We appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers as we worked to restore their service after the recent event at Pepco’s Florida Avenue substation. We know it is difficult to be without electric service, and we cannot thank our customers enough for their understanding during this event.