PECO electric distribution improvements to keep lights on

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From January through March, PECO completed more than 200 projects to enhance electric service reliability for customers throughout the region. The company invests about $500 million annually to improve the electric system infrastructure, including performing preventive maintenance and upgrading equipment.

Specifically, 168 projects were completed on 44 circuits to further improve service to customers. These corrective and preventive maintenance projects were identified through PECO’s targeted circuit performance analysis program.

In addition, 19 reclosers have been installed on aerial lines across the service territory since January. During the last decade, PECO has reduced the number and length of power outages through the use of advanced equipment like reclosers.

There are currently more than 1,550 reclosers installed on PECO’s electric distribution system across the region. These devices will help reduce the number of outages and help improve electric service for customers.

So far this year, reclosers installed across the PECO service territory have prevented more than 78,000 sustained power interruptions. PECO continues to invest in this advanced equipment and additional devices will be installed throughout the year.

To help prevent power outages caused by vegetation, PECO continues to install tree-resistant aerial wire called Hendrix wire. This specific electric wire is stronger than most aerial wire and can better withstand falling trees and tree limbs. Currently, more than 15 miles of Hendrix wire has been installed across the service territory.

During the first few months of 2014, PECO began installing about 3,700 feet of this wire in heavily wooded areas of Montgomery County. An additional 7,000 feet of Hendrix wire will be installed in targeted suburban areas through the remainder of 2014.

PECO also continues its tree trimming program to limit the amount of power outages caused by trees and other vegetation. The company invests about $35 million each year on tree pruning and other vegetation removal around about 2,400 miles (of our total 13,500 miles) of aerial power lines along the PECO electric distribution and transmission system.

PECO’s ongoing system enhancement projects contributed to the company’s record-breaking electric and natural gas reliability performance in 2013, with customers experiencing the fewest number of outages in the company’s history, surpassing previous records set in 2012.

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April 2014
Volume 18, Issue 4
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