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Power substations at the Duke Energy West End location in Moore County, N.C., were damaged in an attack that left tens of thousands of people without electricity. Click the headline to see more articles about the attack and recovery.

Duke Energy starts improving substation security, looks at long-term solutions after attacks

Someone smashed through this gate and shot up Duke Energy's West End substation in Moore County on Saturday.
Nick de la Canal
Someone smashed through this gate and shot up Duke Energy's West End substation in Moore County in December.

Duke Energy says it has begun improving security around its substations after the December attacks in Moore County and is looking for long-term solutions to a growing problem.

The Charlotte-based utility company has increased security patrols and added surveillance cameras around some substations since someone shot up two sites in Moore County, about 100 miles east of Charlotte, on Dec. 3. About 45,000 customers lost power, some for several days.

Chief Financial Officer Brian Savoy said Duke is studying those and other attacks and evaluating technologies adopted by other utilities.

"We continue to evaluate our security posture on all of our substations in light of Moore County and the substation attacks across the country," Savoy told WFAE Thursday.

The number of substations and costs will be challenges, he said.

"We have nearly 3,000 substations that we need to look at, and how do we protect them at the right level, given the risk profile of each one?" Savoy said. "We're trying to balance security and costs for customers."

Savoy said Duke has not put a price tag on the Moore County repairs and doesn't know yet what it might cost to improve security across its six-state network.

The FBI and local authorities are still seeking leads in the case, which was among more than 100 such attacks nationwide last year. Just this week, the FBI charged two white supremacists with plotting to shut down the power grid around Baltimore by attacking substations.


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