Recognizing the need to expand their service area and upgrade the current system, Public Service Company of Oklahoma has an extensive power line project underway.
With several parts of the project occurring concurrently, installation includes some redundant lines, along with new lines that will be used to broaden PSO’s service coverage in the El- gin, Fletcher and Sterling community.
PSO External Affairs Manager in Lawton, Tim Hush- beck, says the ultimate goal will be to “add redundancy to the whole area.”
For example, Hushbeck said, when Sterling has experienced a power outage in the past, many times it would also “knock out” power in Elgin. With the power system as it was before, he explained that PSO employees had no way to transfer power to one location while working on a repair at a different location.
Once the latest line installation project is complete, all that is expected to change.
“When all this is done, we’ll be able to switch around the electrical load and that will shorten outages for different areas,” Hushbeck said. “It’ll slow down some of the outages in Sterling, Fletcher, and Elgin.”
Not only will the redundant lines being installed along U.S. Highway 277 from Porter Hill into Elgin “improve the quality” of PSO’s service, incoming new lines will allow for predicted growth.
“This will make it so additional customers will be able to have service in the future,” he said. “This is a really good deal for the Elgin, Fletcher, Sterling area. It’s not often we get to do a big project like this, and I contribute it to the growth out here.”
The project was approved after “the people who sign off on the money” noticed the need and recognized its potential as being a “good investment” for PSO, Hushbeck said.
Various sections of the project will be completed in different stages, with Elgin expected to be finished by the end of April. Independent contractors are expect- ed to complete installation of all the lines included in the project within the next few months, as long as the Oklahoma spring weather cooperates.
Currently, PSO services close to 3,500 electric meters in the Elgin, Sterling and Fletcher area.