Potomac Edison, a unit of FirstEnergy Corp., will conduct an emergency readiness exercise May 8 to test the company's service restoration process used to repair damage when severe weather causes widespread power outages in the region.
Company employees from the operations, engineering, distribution control center, facilities and planning & analysis groups will participate in or be involved with the drill at Potomac Edison's headquarters in Williamsport.
"FirstEnergy's storm restoration process has been recognized by electric industry organizations repeatedly over the years for its effectiveness," said James A. Sears, Jr., president of FirstEnergy's Maryland operations and vice president of Potomac Edison. "Summer storms are just around the corner. Whether our employees are honing their skills through realistic drills and training exercises, or we are investing in our electric infrastructure, the bottom line is to enhance service reliability for our customers."
A team of FirstEnergy and Potomac Edison employees has been preparing for weeks to conduct the drill, which will roughly follow the same time schedule and number of customer power outages as an actual storm that occurred in the past. Storm drills are becoming more common in the utility industry in the wake of severe weather over the last several years.
Potomac Edison serves about 257,000 customers in seven Maryland counties and more than 137,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.
FirstEnergy’s 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.