Penelec Installing New Automated Tripsaver Devices to Help Reduce Duration of Power Outages
ERIE, Pennsylvania – FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) subsidiary Penelec is on track this year to install about 350 automated “TripSaver” reclosing devices along neighborhood power lines in its service area to help limit the frequency, duration and scope of service interruptions. The programmable devices work like a circuit breaker in a home with the added benefit of automatically re-energizing a power line within seconds to keep power safely flowing to customers.
“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.”
Penelec is in the fourth year of its five-year program to install 2,000 TripSaver devices throughout its service area. The work falls under the company’s Long Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan (LTIIP II), a $200 million initiative to accelerate capital investments through 2024 to help ensure continued electric service reliability for the company’s 585,000 customers.
This year, crews are scheduled to install TripSavers 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.
Utility crews place TripSavers on neighborhood distribution lines that branch off the main power line serving an area. When there is a temporary problem with the line, such as a tree limb contacting the line, the TripSaver can sense when the branch is gone and automatically re-energize the line to prevent an extended outage in the neighborhood – all in a matter of seconds.
If the TripSaver detects a more serious issue, such as a fallen tree on the power line, it will isolate the outage to that area and limit the total number of affected customers. The device’s smart technology quickly pinpoints the location of the electrical fault and helps utility personnel better understand the cause of the outage to help speed restoration.
Reliability engineers review outage information to identify the best locations for TripSavers, typically distribution lines with large customer counts in tree-filled areas. The new devices replace some older equipment used to isolate damage and limit the number of impacted customers.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, 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 that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
Editor’s Note: Photos of crews installing the TripSaver devices are available for download on Flickr, and a video of utility personnel explaining and installing a TripSaver device can be found on YouTube.
News Media Contact: Todd Meyers, (724) 838-6650 or Investor Contact: Irene Prezelj, (330) 384-3859