Randolph EMC Meets Member Needs Following Grid Attack
Co-op restores intermit power to members as Duke Energy repairs substations
A North Carolina electric cooperative’s quick thinking restored intermittent power to members after two Duke Energy transmission substations were attacked by gunfire on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, leaving roughly 45,000 Moore County homes and businesses without power. Of those, 2,768 were Randolph EMC members.
During the extended, multi-day outage, Randolph EMC developed a plan to serve its members while Duke Energy made system repairs.
“Our goal was to get some kind of power flow into all of our service area in Moore County, where members would have some for a period of time,” said Randolph EMC CEO Dale Lambert.
Co-op and contractor crews upgraded a pre-existing tie-line and constructed a new tie-line over nearly three miles. As a result, by 4:48 a.m. Tuesday morning, the co-op was able to begin delivering a rotated, limited capacity of power to 100% of members. The co-op asked Moore County members to conserve energy to reduce load levels and prevent further interruptions.
“I want to commend the REMC team on their ingenuity and hard work to restore some level of power to our members,” Lambert said.
Full power had been restored to all Randolph EMC members as of Wednesday morning, and Duke Energy had completed most restoration efforts by that evening.
Randolph EMC thanked Duke Energy for its partnership and communication, the Moore County Sheriff’s Department for its diligence and aid, the North Carolina Department of Transportation for closing a road so co-op crews could build the temporary tie-lines, and its members in Moore County for their patience and kindness to lineworkers during the outage.
As of publication, local law enforcement officers, assisted by State Bureau of Investigation and FBI agents, continue to collaborate and ask the public to come forward with any helpful information.
“Grid security is a serious matter and a top priority for North Carolina’s electric cooperatives — including cyber and physical attacks,” said Nelle Hotchkiss, senior vice president and COO of Association Services for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “What occurred in Moore County serves as a reminder that securing the grid is an ongoing process. Electric co-ops are working with industry stakeholders; federal, state and community partners; as well as law enforcement to maintain our vigilance and enhance security protocols to prevent or mitigate any future disruptions.”
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