Georgia Power announced that its investments in ‘smart grid’ technologies have helped in avoiding more than 17 million minutes or 280,000 total hours of possible power outages for customers so far this year.

The power company said that the grid technologies it has implemented will be able to identify the exact location of the problem, enabling it to dispatch its crews to bring down the total outage durations.

Technologies implemented by the utility include automatic Fault Location, Isolation and Service Restoration (FLISR), automatic switching devices and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).

Georgia Power distribution vice president Leslie Sibert said: "We understand that when the power is out, every minute counts for our customers.

"The investments we've made in our system are helping us fulfill our commitment to our customers to minimize outages, while keeping our rates as low as possible."

Apart from the smart grid technologies, Georgia Power has also utilized more than $1bn in the last five years for upgrading its equipment and facility.

These include modernization of grid protection and control systems, cyber and physical security, and replacement of wearing infrastructure such as wires, underground cables and power poles.

It also said that its automated network has more than 715 self-healing circuits that can isolate problems automatically and restore power to unaffected areas.

Over 1.2 million customers in Georgia are connected to this network. The power utility which is a subsidiary of Southern Company covers over 2.5 million customers in Georgia with the exception of four counties.

The power it delivers to customers comes from a combination of nuclear, coal and natural gas along with renewables such as wind, hydroelectric and solar.