Duke Energy Grid Improvement Project Completed

Duke Energy’s multi-year grid improvement project is now complete! In this announcement, we will provide an overview of what this means to Islanders, what improvements you can expect, and what you should do if there is a future power outage.  

What Did They Do?

Over the past five years, Duke Energy upgraded nearly all power equipment on the island and hardened the system to prepare for future storms. The new equipment allows for the isolation of outages and remote automatic repairs.

The project started with the upgrading of power lines and the addition of conduit to provide better protection for the power lines from the island’s harsh elements. Over 11 miles of power lines were installed and upgraded on the island. In addition, over two miles of power lines were installed and upgraded on the mainland to support the Bald Head Island system’s reliability.

The next step was the installation of upgraded switchgears. The switchgear equipment was the main element of this project, but for the switchgear to operate, the island’s power lines needed to be upgraded first. The switchgears were also installed with the island’s environment in mind with flood mitigation. 11 switchgears were upgraded on the island and two were upgraded on the mainland, along with new storm-hardened poles over 1.5 miles with new voltage regulation and reclosers.

In addition, three new automatic switchgears were custom designed allowing Duke Energy to redirect power from one location to another if there is an outage. Before the project, there was a single point of failure when there is an outage. Now, with the upgrades in place, Duke Energy will be able to remotely switch to another line, which will help isolate an outage to a smaller number of customers, more easily detect where the issues are, and result in shorter outages when there is one.

What improvements can you expect

While unforeseen outages can still occur, Duke Energy expects these major improvements to significantly reduce the duration of outages and the number of customers impacted in the future.

Continue to be prepared by noting the four ways to report a power outage to Duke Energy.

  1. Online by visiting duke-energy.com on your computer or mobile device.
  2. Use the Duke Energy mobile app which can be downloaded onto your smartphone via the Apple Store or Google Play.
  3. Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).
    • Call the automated outage-reporting system, at 800.POWERON (800.769.3766).

      Please make sure that you are signed up to receive alerts from Duke Energy. With outage alerts, you will receive text, email, or voice messages that will provide information about outage causes, restoration time and crew status, and notifications of when your power is restored.  The system also notifies customers of the Brunswick Nuclear Plant siren tests.  You can enroll by texting REG to 57801 or enrolling online HERE.

      Outage status can also be checked by using Duke Energy’s online outage map HERE. The information on this map is determined by customers’ outage reports, so be sure to report an outage to Duke Energy when it happens.

      Thank you!

      Duke Energy shares its thanks with all Islanders for your patience and coordination during construction activities and planned outages to complete the installations. Duke Energy was able to work with Bald Head Conservancy and Bald Head Association to support native vegetation plantings and coordinated closely with Village staff to ensure cleanup and restoration.

      You’ll continue to see Duke Energy around the island when there are new customer connections, power service requests, etc. They thank you for allowing them to serve our community!

      Duke Energy team setting out for final walkdown with Village staff.