Met-Ed Completes Inspections and Maintenance to Enhance Electric Service Reliability Through Winter Season | State

READ, Pa., November 22, 2021 / PRNewswire / – With winter weather ahead, Met-Ed, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) conducts equipment inspections and maintenance to keep power flowing to customers when they need it most, to keep them safe and comfortable.

“Our winter preparations focus on a variety of activities with one common goal: to prepare our power distribution and transmission systems to safely power our customers for the cold months ahead,” said Scott Wyman, President of Pennsylvania Operations, FirstEnergy. “By taking proactive steps now to secure our electricity infrastructure and prepare our commercial vehicles, we will be better positioned to respond to the challenges of winter weather.”

Substation electricians inspect critical components with “thermal vision” cameras that take infrared images of equipment to identify potential problems that are not visible during regular visual inspections. The infrared images show heat on a color scale, with lighter colors or “hot spots” indicating loose connections, corrosion, or other problems that require repair. Utility workers can then proactive repairs to substation equipment to avoid power outages when customers turn up their heaters to fight the cold.

Some larger substations have buildings that house remotely controlled equipment that must be in an air-conditioned environment in order to function properly. The crews winterize these control buildings and make sure their heating systems are ready for the season.

Helicopter inspections will be completed on approximately 1,400 miles of transmission lines in the Met-Ed footprint. The inspections are designed to find damaged wires, broken cross arms, and other hardware problems invisible from the ground. Any potential reliability problems identified during the inspection can then be addressed.

Year-round pruning of trees also helps cope with harsh winter operations by maintaining adequate clearances around electrical systems and protecting them from tree-related failures caused by heavy, wet snow, strong winds, and ice. Met-Ed’s tree contractors trimmed more than 2,550 miles of power lines this year and are well on their way to trimming a total of approximately 3,200 miles by the end of 2021.

In addition, dump trucks and other vehicles are inspected to make sure they are safe and function in sub-zero temperatures. Particular attention is paid to the condition of tires and air brakes, which can freeze in moisture. Snow removal equipment is also checked to ensure crews have access to substations and that work areas and walkways on the facilities are clear and safe.

Earlier this year, Met-Ed conducted its annual table storm drill to ensure reliable electrical service to its customers. The exercise is designed to prepare staff charged with storm restoration tasks and to review recovery processes and storm management tools that are critical to safely and quickly restoring lights after severe weather damage.

Met-Ed serves approximately 570,000 customers in 14 Pennsylvania Counties. Follow Met-Ed on Twitter @Met Ed and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MetEdElectric.

FirstEnergy is dedicated to Integrity, Security, Reliability and Operational Excellence. Its 10 power distribution companies form one of the largest state-owned power systems owned and operated by investors and serving 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 connecting the Midwest and the Central Atlantic. Visit FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.

Publisher’s Note: Photos of workers performing inspections to improve service reliability for Met-Ed customers are available for download on Flickr. There is a video on the company’s YouTube channel of utility company employees performing a thermal vision inspection and explaining the work.

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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.

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