Penelec to Rejuvenate Underground Cable in Girard Township to Help Enhance Service ReliabilityInjection process will extend life of underground electric lines
ERIE, Pa., May 6, 2022 -- Penelec, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), is working to enhance service reliability for 380 residential customers and several businesses in Girard Township, Erie County, by injecting underground power lines with a silicone-based fluid that should prolong the line's useful life by up to 30 years. This advanced repair method will allow the cable to provide continued reliable electric service for a fraction of the replacement cost while minimizing the need to dig trenches through landscaped yards and driveways.
Over time, water and corrosive soil materials can penetrate underground wire through tiny cracks and fissures, which can cause power outages. Rather than disturbing dirt to replace more than 6 miles of underground cable, Penelec will use an electrical contractor to restore buried cable with minimal excavation. Accessing de-energized wires through underground vaults, the contractor will force a pressurized silicone-based fluid into the cable, filling the cracks and spaces in the worn insulation and encasing the wire with new material.
The rejuvenation work began May 4 and is expected to be completed next week. The $300,000 project will benefit customers in and around Imperial Point off U.S. Route 20.
"This project is designed to help prevent service interruptions for Girard Township customers without the disruption of installing all-new cable," said Scott Wyman, president of FirstEnergy's Pennsylvania operations. "This is the latest in our ongoing efforts to strengthen the electric system and help enhance service reliability for our customers."
Penelec plans to rejuvenate more than 34,000 feet of underground power lines and replace an additional 11,000 feet of aging underground cable throughout its service area in 2022. The work is part of Penelec's Long Term Infrastructure Improvement Plans (LTIIP II), a $200 million initiative to accelerate capital investments over five years to help enhance continued electric service reliability for the company's 585,000 customers.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, 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 approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
Editor's Note: Photos of underground cable rejuvenation work in the Penelec service area are available for download on Flickr.
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