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Inspection and Maintenance Work Nears Completion to Enhance Service Reliability in West Penn Power's Service Area for Customers Through Summer


Company offers tips for customers to manage rising temperatures and energy costs

GREENSBURG, Pa., June 24, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- With the hot, humid summer months expected to produce higher electric usage and potentially severe weather, FirstEnergy Pennsylvania Electric Company (FE PA), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) doing business in western and central Pennsylvania as West Penn Power, is completing inspections and conducting proactive equipment maintenance across its service area to help enhance service reliability for customers.

John Hawkins, FirstEnergy's President, Pennsylvania: "We proactively inspect and maintain our equipment to help ensure our system is prepared for increased electrical demand when temperatures climb. These important measures will also help to minimize the length and impact of service interruptions should summer storms cause power outages."

West Penn Power crews are wrapping up inspections of its local energy delivery system to ensure electrical equipment is ready to perform reliably with elevated summer electrical demand, typically due to air conditioning usage.

Substation electricians use thermovision cameras during summer-readiness inspections to capture infrared images, helping to detect potential problems within substations and on power lines that cannot be observed during regular visual inspections. 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.

Watch a video on the company's YouTube channel of utility personnel conducting a thermovision inspection.

In addition, helicopter patrols have completed inspections of more than 1,700 miles of power lines owned by Keystone Appalachian Transmission Company (KATCo) and Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Company (TrAILCo), FirstEnergy Corp. transmission subsidiaries, located in the West Penn Power area. The inspections identify damaged wire, broken cross arms and other hardware problems not visible from the ground. Any potential reliability issues identified during the inspections will be addressed.

Since the beginning of the year, tree contractors have trimmed along 1,840 miles of power lines as part of FirstEnergy's vegetation management program in the West Penn Power area. Work remains on schedule to complete an additional 2,860 miles by the end of the year. Maintaining proper clearances around electrical equipment is critical to providing safe, reliable electric service and can help reduce the frequency and duration of tree-related power outages, especially those associated with severe weather.

Trees are being trimmed in these counties and communities:

In addition to equipment inspections and maintenance, West Penn Power recently conducted storm-readiness exercises and drills to test the 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.

With the summer storm season also comes higher-than-usual temperatures and rising energy costs. Customers can take steps to beat the heat while also managing their electricity bill this summer. The following tips can help customers use electricity wisely during this period of high demand:

West Penn Power serves approximately 746,000 customers in 24 counties within central and southwestern Pennsylvania. Follow West Penn on X, formerly known as Twitter, @W_Penn_Power and on Facebook at facebook.com/WestPennPower.

FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving more than six million 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. Visit FirstEnergy online at firstenergycorp.com and follow FirstEnergy on X @FirstEnergyCorp.

Editor's Note: Photos of workers conducting thermovision inspections to enhance service reliability for FirstEnergy customers are available for download on Flickr.

SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.


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