FAIRMONT, W.Va., June 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- With the hot, humid summer months expected to produce higher electric usage and the potential for severe weather, Mon Power, a FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) subsidiary, has completed projects, inspections, and equipment maintenance across its 34-county service territory in north central West Virginia to enhance service reliability for customers.
Helicopter patrols have completed inspections on more than 2,100 miles of FirstEnergy transmission lines located in the Mon 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. 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 Mon Power substation equipment such as transformers and capacitors. By identifying hot spots, maintenance and repairs can be handled prior to a power outage occurring.
Crews also conducted inspections of distribution circuits, focusing on more than 580 line capacitors that maintain proper electric voltage on the Mon Power electric system. These devices are especially useful in remote locations because they automatically adjust voltage levels to accommodate changing system conditions.
"We proactively inspect and maintain our equipment to ensure system reliability to meet the increased electrical demand from higher air conditioning usage when the temperatures climb," said Jim Myers, FirstEnergy's president of West Virginia operations. "Our crews have safely and efficiently completed the necessary readiness work because they know our customers are counting on us to keep them comfortable during the summer."
Tree trimming is another key to preparing our system to meet the rigors of summer operations by maintaining proper clearances around electrical systems and helping to protect against tree-related outages. Tree contractors have trimmed more than 2,900 circuit miles of transmission and distribution lines in the Mon Power footprint since January and expect to trim another 2,700 miles by year end.
Summer readiness also includes focusing on employee safety by educating field personnel on proper safety procedures and precautions for working in hot weather. Ensuring employees know the signs of heat exhaustion and the importance of proper hydration, taking adequate breaks and scheduling work appropriately are some of the key areas for employee safety.
Mon Power's power plants are prepared to meet the expected demand for electricity this summer. Plant personnel have done inspections and performed maintenance on key operational systems to ensure the power stations will be available during extreme heat conditions. If maintenance is needed throughout the summer, the work will be scheduled around periods of peak demand in order to ensure that generation is available when it is most needed.
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.
For updated company information, including hot weather tips, customers are urged to visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.
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 on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
Editor's Note: Photos of workers conducting thermovision inspections to enhance service reliability for FirstEnergy customers are available for download on Flickr. A video of thermovision inspections and explanation the work can be found on the company's YouTube channel.
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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.