Akron, OH /PRNewswire/ - With the upcoming hot summer months expected to produce higher electric usage, Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power), a FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) subsidiary, is completing inspections and conducting equipment maintenance in its western Pennsylvania territory that are intended to enhance service reliability.
Helicopter patrols are completing inspections on almost 700 miles of FirstEnergy transmission lines located in the Penn Power area. The inspections are designed to look for damaged wire, broken cross arms, failed insulators, and other hardware problems not visible from the ground. Any potential reliability issues identified during the inspection will be addressed.
On the ground, the summer readiness inspections include using "thermovision" cameras to capture infrared images that can detect potential problems with Penn Power substation equipment such as transformers and capacitors. By identifying hot spots, maintenance and repairs can be conducted prior to a power outage occurring.
Other utility work being done by Penn Power crews includes inspecting distribution circuits, including transformers, capacitors, reclosers and lightning arrestors to ensure the equipment is operational and the lines are ready to perform efficiently when demand for electricity increases during the summer.
"The heat and humidity of summer weather results in our customers using more air conditioning to stay cool," said Rich Sweeney, regional president of Ohio Edison and Penn Power. "By proactively inspecting and maintaining our equipment, we help ensure system reliability to meet summer's increased electrical load."
A team of Penn Power and FirstEnergy employees also recently conducted a readiness exercise to test the company's restoration process used to repair storm-related power outages. Storm drills are becoming more common in the utility industry in the wake of severe weather over the last several years.
Tree trimming is another key to preparing Penn Power's system to meet the rigors of summer operations by maintaining proper clearances around electrical systems and helping to protect against tree-related outages. Penn Power tree contractors have completed trimming about half of the 1,200 circuit miles of electric lines they will trim this year.
For updated company information, including hot weather tips, customers are urged to visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.
In addition to the work being done by company employees, summer also is a time when roofers, home builders, lawn service workers and other contractors work long hours. To help stay safe around electrical equipment while on the job, FirstEnergy offers important tips at www.firstenergycorp.com/contractorsafety.
Penn Power serves more than 160,000 customers in all or parts of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Lawrence, and Mercer counties in western Pennsylvania. Follow Penn Power on Twitter @Penn Power and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennpower.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorpor online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
Photos of workers conducting thermovision inspections to enhance service reliability for FirstEnergy customers are available for download on Flickr.
SOURCE: FirstEnergy Corp.Copyright 2018 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved