About our electric system
As a Vectren electric customer, you are experiencing less electric outages and outages that occur are significantly shorter in length than in previous years thanks to continued efforts in electric system upgrades, improved response time and outage prevention measures. These, coupled with maintaining some of the cleanest power plants in the region and our focus on energy efficiency, help ensure Vectren can meet your energy needs today and for years to come.
Read below to learn more about our electric system or visit vectren.com/smartenergyfuture to learn about extensive upgrades to our system.
How the system works
- 1. Generation
Electricity is created using coal, natural gas or renewable resources at a generation facility or power plant.
Vectren's generation fleet
Vectren's power plants in Posey County, Ind., and Warrick County, Ind., provide safe, reliable power to 142,000 customers in southwestern Indiana. Over the past decade, these local plants have become among the cleanest coal-fired generation units in the Midwest thanks to $500 million in emissions control equipment.
A.B. Brown, Posey County
115 local jobs
650 megawatts from 2 coal-fired units, 2 natural gas-fired units
Provides $1.3 million annually in taxes to Posey County
F.B. Culley, Warrick County
100 local jobs
510 megawatts* from 2 coal-fired units
Provides $1.4 million annually in taxes to Warrick County
Wind power, Benton County, Ind.
80 megawatts wind power
Blackfoot Clean Energy Facility, Winslow, Ind.
3.2 megawatts landfill gas to electricity project
Vectren's electric customers are served by a mixed portfolio of 1,000 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired generation and up to 273 MW of gas-fired generation. Also, purchases from the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) of up to 32 MW and additional load from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) power pool occasionally supplement Vectren load requirements. Furthermore, interruptible load and demand side management initiatives can yield more than 60 MW of energy savings to meet peak demand if needed.
- 2. Transmission
'Transmission' refers to the portion of the grid in which electricity is moved from power plants to interconnected systems over high-voltage lines. The electricity is then converted to lower voltage units at substations so it can be distributed to homes and businesses.
Our transmission system
In addition to numerous substations throughout our service area, Vectren's transmission system includes 69 kilovolt (kV), 138kV and 345kV transmission lines. A strong, dependable transmission system is important for supporting economic and regional growth as well as ensuring power is transferred from the power plant to the substations where it is then sent through distribution lines and delivered to homes and businesses.
Mt. Vernon area - Rebuilding a line to increase capacity to serve growing areas of Mt. Vernon; Project includes new structures and upgraded conductors for transmission and associated distribution
Rebuilding a section of line near Central High School to improve reliability; Project includes upgraded conductors
North West Posey County
Rebuilding and increasing capacity of a line serving Mt. Vernon and New Harmony; Project includes new structures and upgraded conductors; Fiber optics, which support smart technology, will also be added to line to help pinpoint and isolate trouble areas.
The current system connects Vectren's many substations to the grid and interconnects Vectren with other portions of the grid. This system ensures reliability by allowing power to be transported from neighboring areas to allow generation units to be taken off line for maintenance.
The current system connects Vectren's A.B. Brown power plant in Posey County, Ind., to Duke Energy in Gibson County, Ind., and Big River's Electric's Reid Station in Webster County, Ky. This extra high voltage system is the part of the "interstate highway" of the electric grid and ensures reliability and increased capacity.
Many substations throughout Vectren's service area are scheduled to undergo improvements in order to increase capacity and reliability. Some of these areas include: Vanderburgh County, Downtown Evansville, Newtonville/Grandview, Mt. Vernon and Dubois County.
- 3. Distribution
'Distribution' refers to the system by which electricity is transferred over a vast network of above-ground and underground wires, smaller transformers and poles and delivered as usable power to homes and businesses.
Improving our distribution network
Whether the distribution system feeding your home/business is comprised of over-head or underground wires, its strength and design are key to providing safe, reliable electric service. Vectren continues to make proactive upgrades to enhance this system, including trimming trees away from lines and installing varmint guards to keep wildlife from interfering. Replacing older poles with larger, stronger poles and adding smart technology to the system in order to pinpoint and isolate problems are also major system improvements that have helped decrease outages by 30% in the last five years and decrease the time it takes to restore outages.
Tree trimming is vital in ensuring the reliability of Vectren's electric system. Learn more about this process and see tree trimming schedules.
Vectren inspects poles to determine replacement needs. If replacement is essential, many are replaced with stronger, more durable poles to further prevent impact from weather or other interferences. In the last five years alone, nearly 11,000 poles have been replaced.
Underground cable replacement
Many neighborhoods have underground cables, which transport electricity to your home. While these cables are less impacted by weather and other interferences, they can wear down. Vectren has a replacement plan for aging underground cables. Some current and future projects include:
- Eastland Place (Evansville)
- Christmas Lake Village (Santa Claus)
- Plaza Meadows Subdivision (Evansville)
- Fairview Drive (Evansville)
- Lloyd Pool (Evansville)
Vectren continues to add smart technology or distribution automation to distribution substations and lines in order to better pinpoint and isolate problems. By pinpointing the problem, service crews know where to go to address the situation. They are able to remotely isolate the issue, restoring power to many customers immediately. The remainder of the customers will be restored as soon as the issue is resolved.
Electric system safety
Find safety information, procedures and tips to stay safe around electric system equipment and facilities.
Planning & reporting
Visit our Planning & Reporting section for in-depth and regulatory detail about our electric system and planned or proposed upgrades.