FirstEnergy’s subsidiary Penelec is installing about 350 automated TripSaver reclosing devices, which work like a circuit breaker in a home and automatically re-energizes a power line in no time, along neighborhood power lines in its service area to reduce the frequency, duration and scope of service interruptions.
Under a $200 million five-year Long Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan (LTIIP II) to fasten capital investments through 2024 for electric service reliability to its 585,000 customers, Penelec is in the fourth year to install 2,000 TripSaver devices throughout its service area.
“TripSavers can allow us to automatically restore service to customers rather than send a truck and crew to investigate the issue, which is especially useful in remote areas of Penelec’s vast service territory,” said Scott Wyman, president of FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania operations. “These devices are intended to provide safer and more efficient service restoration for both our employees and our customers.”
Crews will install the devices in and around the communities of Albion, Altoona, Bedford, Bradford, Corry, Dubois, Ebensburg, Erie, Indiana, Johnstown, Lewistown, Mansfield, Meadville, Montrose, Oil City, Phillipsburg, Shippensburg, Towanda and Warren in 2023.
The device’s smart technology identifies the location of an electrical fault and helps utility personnel better understand the cause of the outage, which further accelerates restoration. Reliability engineers review outage information to identify distribution lines with large customer counts in tree-filled areas for the devices.