Infrastructure Improvement Program
Since taking over the power grid from PSE in April of 2013, your Jefferson County PUD has invested millions of dollars and countless hours to repair and improve our county’s aging electrical infrastructure. Much of this money has gone to fix or replace older, worn, and/or failing components. Other dollars have been spent to bring our systems into the 21st century. All of these investments have been made with the goal of providing better service and increased reliability for our 19,000 customers.
New and Improved Equipment
In the last five years the PUD has fixed or replaced electrical substations, power poles, utility lines, transformers, and more from the tip of the Coyle Peninsula to the edge of Sequim Bay. We have purchased or upgraded numerous types of utility service trucks and ordered and stocked the tools and equipment required to keep our infrastructure in good working order and our employees safe.
In the past two years Jefferson County PUD has also invested in new software programs like SCADA and OMS. SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) software gathers data in real time from remote locations in order to control equipment and conditions. SCADA is used in the power industry as well as in telecommunications, transportation, and water and waste control. In an outage, Jefferson County PUD can use SCADA to instantly and remotely reroute service from one substation to another, which in some cases helps restore power even before the lineman arrive.
OMS is our Outage Management System. It helps us locate, track and diagnose outages across the county online and in real time. If you have called in an outage in the last year and a half, our operators recorded your information into OMS. If you’ve set up a SmartHub account to pay your bill online you can also use that same account to report an outage to OMS. And OMS lets you see outages in real time on our website’s Outage Map. Both SCADA and OMS, and even Smart Hub, have helped the Jefferson County PUD provide better service, faster.
Advanced Electric Meters
When the PUD assumed maintenance of the electrical grid from PSE in 2013, we inherited a hodge-podge system of analog and digital meters in various state of repair and disrepair. The PUD is exploring options for replacing the old meters for a single brand of new advanced meters that will provide improved performance and more accurate reads. In 2017, PUD staff proposed replacing the current meters with AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) or smart meters. After months of discussion, PUD Commissioners chose to table the project for the time being. For more information on the current meters and AMI or smart meters see our Meter Replacement FAQ page.
One more investment we hope to make in the next four years is an upgraded operations facility. Prior to 2013, Jefferson PUD had one office in Chimacum and 8 employees. Today we have 50 employees, two offices in Chimacum, and a main operations yard and customer service center in 4 Corners. And we’re still growing. In the next five years the PUD is looking to consolidate and modernize its operations and facilities into one or possibly two locations that will enhance staff capacity and improve customer service ability.