For Immediate Release
PHILADELPHIA (October 1, 2014) – From April to July, PECO completed more than 170 projects to enhance reliability for customers throughout the region. This work follows more than 200 projects completed during the first quarter of 2014. Each year, PECO invests approximately $500 million to improve the electric system infrastructure, including performing preventive maintenance and upgrading equipment. Specifically, 88 projects were completed on 25 circuits to further improve service to customers. These corrective and preventive maintenance projects were identified through PECO's ongoing system monitoring program.
Since April, 14 additional reclosers also have been installed on aerial lines across the service territory. During the last decade, PECO has reduced the number and length of power outages through the use of advanced equipment like reclosers. There are currently more than 1,580 reclosers installed on PECO's electric distribution system across the region. These devices help reduce the number of outages and improve electric service for customers. Reclosers have prevented more than 531,144 sustained power interruptions for PECO customers this year alone.
PECO also continued to upgrade and install new equipment throughout the region. Since April, PECO upgraded several sections of underground cable and installed seven new transformers.
To help prevent power outages caused by vegetation, PECO continues to install reinforced tree-resistant aerial wire. This specific electric wire is stronger than most aerial wire and can better withstand falling trees and tree limbs. During the second quarter, PECO completed the installation of 2,300 feet of this wire in Montgomery County. Earlier this year, PECO installed approximately 3,700 feet of tree-resistant wire throughout Montgomery County. Currently, more than 15 miles of this wire has been installed across the service territory. An additional 3,800 feet of wire will be installed in targeted suburban areas through the remainder of 2014.
PECO also continues its rigorous tree trimming program to limit the amount of power outages caused by trees and other vegetation. The company invests about $35 million each year on tree pruning and other vegetation removal around approximately 2,400 miles (of a total 13,500 miles) of aerial power lines along the PECO electric distribution and transmission systems.
Additionally, PECO completed wildlife mitigation around several of its facilities to prevent native animals from damaging PECO equipment and causing power outages.
"We are committed to continuously monitoring system performance and identifying areas where we can improve our equipment, which is crucial to providing customers with safe and reliable service every day," said John McDonald, vice president of Technical Services, PECO.
PECO's ongoing system enhancement projects contributed to the company's record-breaking electric and natural gas reliability performance in 2013, with customers experiencing the fewest number of outages in the company's history, surpassing previous records set in 2012.
Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC). PECO serves 1.6 million electric and more than 500,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and employs about 2,400 people in the region. PECO delivered 85.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 37.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2013. Founded in 1881, PECO is one of the Greater Philadelphia Region's most active corporate citizens, providing leadership, volunteer and financial support to numerous arts and culture, education, environmental, economic development and community programs and organizations. For more information visit PECO.com, and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.
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