Ohio Edison Completing Inspections and Maintenance Prior to Summer Season to Help Enhance Customer Service Reliability
AKRON, Ohio, June 11, 2018 -- With the upcoming hot summer months expected to produce higher electric usage, Ohio Edison, a FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utility, is completing projects, inspections and conducting equipment maintenance in its northeast and central Ohio territory to enhance service reliability for customers.
Helicopter patrols are completing inspections on nearly 4,000 miles of FirstEnergy transmission lines located in the Ohio Edison area. The inspections are designed to look for damaged wire, broken cross arms, failed insulators, and other hardware problems not easily detected from the ground. Any potential reliability issues identified during the inspection will be addressed.
On the ground, the inspections include using "thermovision" cameras to capture infrared images that can detect potential problems with Ohio Edison 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 Ohio Edison 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, typically due to air conditioning usage.
"The heat and humidity of summer weather results in our customers using more air conditioning to stay cool," said Kevin Sestak, vice president of Operations, Ohio Edison. "By proactively inspecting and maintaining our equipment, we help ensure system reliability to meet this increased electrical load when temperatures climb and customers depend on us to stay comfortable."
Tree trimming is another key to preparing the Ohio Edison system to meet the rigors of summer operations by maintaining proper clearances around electrical systems and helping to protect against tree-related outages. Ohio Edison tree contractors have trimmed more than 1,000 miles of power lines since January and expect to trim another 4,600 miles by year end.
Crews also are finishing work on several projects in the Ohio Edison service area designed to help enhance the reliability of the electric system in time for the summer, including:
- Using a barge to replace a 12.5 kilovolt underwater cable running from Middle Bass Island to North Bass Island at a cost of approximately $1.2 million.
In addition, a team of Ohio Edison and FirstEnergy employees 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.
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.
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 @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
Editor's Note: Photos of workers conducting thermovision inspections to enhance service reliability for Ohio Edison customers and photos of the underwater electric cable installation in the Lake Erie Islands are available for download on Flickr.
CONTACT: News Media Contact: Mark Durbin, (330) 761-4365