DURHAM, N.C. - Duke Energy has begun updating security at its substations to reduce copper theft and other vandalism that adversely affects the safe and reliable delivery of electricity to its customers.
The Parkwood Tie Station in Durham, the Main Substation in Greensboro, and the Merritt Road Retail Substation in Greensboro are the latest substations to undergo upgrades, including the installation of video cameras, motion sensors, and two-way loud speakers. The company has also begun using copper-clad wire at its facilities. Copper-clad wire has no resale value.
All of these upgrades will make these facilities less susceptible to break-ins and alert Duke Energy security if a break-in is attempted.
These substations were chosen for the initial upgrades because substations located away from populated areas are more susceptible to break-ins. The Parkwood Tie Station services the Durham area, the Greensboro Main and Merritt Road Retail Substations service the Greensboro area.
Thieves have been targeting substations to steal copper wire, which is commonly used to ground electrical equipment.
Every year, the company spends millions of dollars to prevent the theft of copper wire and equipment. Despite fencing and razor wire around these facilities, thieves have broken into substations, damaging electrical equipment in an attempt to steal copper, which is then sold as scrap.
"Like all businesses, Duke Energy is not immune to crime," said Tim Rigg, Duke Energy's managing director of Enterprise Protective Services. "That's why the company plans to use some of the latest technology available to dissuade criminals from not only damaging our equipment, but putting their lives in jeopardy."
"In the past, locks and chains, barbed wire, security flood lighting and physical surveillance were the best deterrents available," he added. "Today, we're adding high-tech equipment to alert Duke Energy security when an attempted break-in is occurring."
The company asks that residents continue to call 911 or their local police if they see any suspicious activities around its equipment.
Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 20,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 2.4 million customers in a 24,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.