T&D World Magazine
PECO Completes 300 Electric System Projects

PECO Completes 300 Electric System Projects

PECO invests approximately $500 million to improve the electric system infrastructure, including performing preventive maintenance and upgrading equipment.

From April through June, PECO completed 336 projects to enhance electric reliability for customers. Each year, PECO invests approximately $500 million to improve the electric system infrastructure, including performing preventive maintenance and upgrading equipment.

Despite a severe summer storm in late June, electric service reliability improved by nearly 10 percent during the first half of the year compared to 2014. Specifically:

  • 120,500 fewer outages and when an outage did occur, service was restored for customers approximately five minutes faster.
  • May 2015 also was PECO’s best-ever month of May in terms of electric service reliability, with 20,000 fewer outages, 22 percent less than the previous record-breaking May in 2003.

“These projects are critical to providing our customers with safe and reliable service every day,” said John McDonald, vice president of Technical Services. “We continuously monitor our system performance to identify areas where we can upgrade our equipment or perform preventive maintenance work to deliver the service our customers expect.”

As part of this ongoing work, PECO also upgraded and installed new equipment throughout the region, including 34 new advanced aerial reclosers. When a problem occurs, like a fallen tree limb, lightning strike or vehicle accident, the recloser stops the flow of electricity on the line and then automatically restores electricity if possible. There are currently more than 1,670 reclosers on PECO’s system, and these devices prevented more than 260,000 sustained power interruptions for PECO customers through June 30, 2015.

To help prevent power outages caused by vegetation, the company installs reinforced tree-resistant aerial electric lines. These lines are stronger than traditional lines and can better withstand falling trees and tree limbs. Approximately 3,100 feet of this type of wire has been installed in 2015 with more than 18 miles installed across the service territory. Rigorous tree trimming also limits the number of power outages caused by trees and other vegetation. In 2015, the company is investing about $36 million on tree trimming and other vegetation removal around approximately 2,800 miles of aerial power lines along the electric distribution and transmission systems.

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