For Immediate Release
Pepco is working around the clock to restore full service from its Oak Grove substation in Prince George's County where equipment problems have caused power outages the past three days. Temporary repairs have been made to restore service but for the remainder of today and through the weekend all customers that were affected by these outages are urged to reduce electricity use to help prevent further problems due to the hot weather.
Pepco apologizes for the inconvenience caused by these outages and asks for continued patience while permanent repairs are made to fully correct the problem.
"We understand how difficult this has been for our customers and want to reassure them we are doing everything possible as quickly and safely as possible to complete the repairs," said Pepco Region President Thomas Graham. "We are working around the clock and will continue doing so until the problem is resolved."
About 25,000 customers in the area between Upper Marlboro and Largo lost power for several hours Wednesday after an equipment malfunction shut down a large transformer at Oak Grove. About 8,500 customers were affected for several hours Thursday when a similar problem occurred affecting a second transformer.
Pepco is also investigating to determine the root cause of the problem. Back-to-back outages that affect different transformers at the same substation are an extremely rare occurrence. The transformers step down the electric voltage from 69,000 volts to 13,000 volts for distribution to the neighborhood feeder lines.
To reduce electric consumption during this period, Pepco recommends customers avoid use of heavy appliances such as washers and dryers and to raise air-conditioning thermostats to a minimum of 78 degrees if health permits.
Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 750,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.