VIDEO: PECO power grid enhancements help keep lights on

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From January through March, PECO completed more than 315 projects to enhance electric reliability for customers across Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties. Each year, PECO invests about $500 million to improve the electric system infrastructure, including performing preventive maintenance and upgrading equipment.

Specifically, 275 maintenance projects were completed as part of PECO’s ongoing system work.

PECO also upgraded and installed new equipment throughout the region, including 12 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 automatically restores electricity if possible.

There are currently more than 1,650 reclosers on PECO’s system, and these devices prevented more than one million sustained power interruptions for PECO customers in 2014.

To help prevent power outages caused by vegetation, PECO also installs reinforced tree-resistant aerial electric lines. These lines are stronger than traditional lines and can better withstand falling trees and tree limbs. In 2014, PECO installed 10,600 feet of this wire. In total, more than 18 miles of this wire has been installed across the service territory with an additional 1,300 feet installed during the first quarter of 2015.

PECO also continues its tree trimming program to limit the number of power outages caused by trees and other vegetation. In 2015, the company is investing about $36 million on tree pruning and other vegetation removal around about 2,800 miles of aerial power lines along the PECO electric distribution and transmission systems.

Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility unit of Exelon Corp. PECO serves 1.6 million electric and more than 506,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and employs about 2,400 people in the region.

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