VIDEO: PECO electric system upgrades lead to shortest outages in utility’s history

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As part of PECO‘s ongoing efforts to provide customers with safe, reliable, affordable and clean energy and energy services, the company invests more than $500 million to improve its electric system infrastructure through preventive maintenance and equipment upgrades.

This work led to customers experiencing the shortest average power outage duration and second fewest number of outages in company history last year. Specifically, during the last three months of 2015, PECO completed more than 100 projects to enhance electric reliability for customers. This work is in addition to 580 projects completed during the first three quarters of 2015, totaling nearly 700 projects.

“Our focus on delivering innovation and enhancing our systems has helped us identify areas where we can upgrade our equipment to deliver record-breaking performance for our customers,” said John McDonald, vice president of Technical Services.

Specifically, from October through December, 22 corrective and preventive maintenance projects were completed as part of PECO’s ongoing system monitoring program. PECO also continued to upgrade and install new equipment throughout the region, specifically adding new aerial devices called 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 automatically restores electricity if possible. There are nearly 1,700 reclosers on PECO’s system, which prevented more than 580,000 sustained power interruptions for PECO customers in 2015.

To help prevent power outages caused by vegetation, PECO also installs reinforced tree-resistant aerial power lines. These lines are stronger than traditional lines and can better withstand falling trees and tree limbs.

With nearly 11,000 feet of this type of wire installed in 2015, PECO now has more than 19 miles installed across the service territory. Rigorous tree trimming also continues to limit the number of power outages caused by trees and other vegetation. In 2015, the company invested about $36 million on tree trimming and other vegetation removal around about 2,800 miles of aerial power lines along the electric distribution and transmission system.

Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corp. The company’s 2,400 dedicated employees provide advanced, innovative energy solutions to 1.6 million electric and more than 511,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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