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The Power of Technology During Outages

Staying up-to-date with emerging technology is one way Wheatland Electric has added value to our membership. Most winter storms in Kansas consist of ice and wind, both of which can wreak havoc on an electrical system. In outage situations, new technology and the implementation of new response techniques has created a more efficient process to communicate to members, and to identify, monitor and repair power outages.

For power outages or downed lines members should always first contact their local office. If after hours, you can contact Wheatland through our outage hotline 1-800-ON-AGAIN (662-4246). To view a real-time outage map, visit weci.net, click the “Outages” tab, and “View Outage Map.” The outage map shows how many meters are down by county and provides members an insight into the outage situation. This tool lets you know what our line crews are up against, and how long it might be to restore power. For more updates in large outage situations, “like” and “follow” Wheatland Electric’s Facebook page (facebook.com/WheatlandElectric). 

In order to remotely monitor 32,000-plus meters, Wheatland Electric invested in an automated metering infrastructure (AMI). The meter change out took nearly two years, but by the middle of 2017 the project was completed and the system was operational. AMI meters have provided faster, more efficient outage detection and diagnosis. System operators can ping meters to get a clearer picture of what is happening in the field and deploy crews more efficiently. In many cases the AMI system identifies the outage, a crew is dispatched, and power is restored—all before the member can call-in to report an outage.

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