AKRON, Ohio, June 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- With the hot summer months likely to produce higher electric usage and potentially severe weather, FirstEnergy Corp.'s (NYSE: FE) Ohio utilities – Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison – recently completed inspections and conducted equipment maintenance expected to enhance service reliability for Ohio customers.
"We proactively inspect and maintain our equipment to help ensure system reliability to meet the increased electrical demand when the temperatures climb," said Gary Grant, president of FirstEnergy's Ohio operations. "We anticipate more customers will be spending time at home this summer, and our goal is to continue delivering the safe and reliable power they depend on to stay comfortable."
Helicopter patrols have completed inspections on nearly 7,200 miles of FirstEnergy transmission line circuits located across the company's entire Ohio footprint. 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 inspections are addressed quickly.
On the ground, proactive equipment inspections include using "thermovision" cameras to capture infrared images of electrical equipment that can detect potential problems within substations and on power lines that cannot be observed during regular visual inspections. The infrared technology shows heat on a color scale, with brighter colors or "hot spots" indicating areas that could need repairs. These images can identify equipment issues such as loose connections, corrosion and load imbalances, and utility workers are able to make repairs to prevent potential power outages in the future.
Other utility work being done by FirstEnergy utility personnel includes inspecting distribution circuits, such as 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.
FirstEnergy's utility employees also participated in readiness exercises and drills throughout the year 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.
In addition to the work being done by company employees, summer also is a time when contractors and homeowners spend more time outdoors completing projects. FirstEnergy offers important outdoor electrical safety tips at www.firstenergycorp.com/safety.
The Illuminating Company serves 750,000 customers across Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties. Connect with The Illuminating Company at www.illuminatingcompany.com, on Twitter @IlluminatingCo and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IlluminatingCo.
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 approximately 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter: @FirstEnergyCorp.
Editor's Note: Photos of workers conducting inspections to enhance service reliability for FirstEnergy customers are available for download on Flickr. A video of utility personnel conducting a thermovision inspection and explaining the work can be found on the company's YouTube channel.
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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.