For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 1, 2019) – This week, Pepco will inspect more than 650 miles of aerial transmission lines by helicopter and infrared camera in the District and Maryland. The aerial inspections are part of the company's ongoing commitment to deliver safe and reliable service for its customers. Pepco crews work year-round to proactively review the company's system and make needed upgrades and improvements. These regular inspections allow the company to proactively locate and repair areas of the energy system, making the system less susceptible to damage during extreme weather and preventing outages for customers.
"Whether it's a record heat wave, an intense thunderstorm or major hurricane, inspections such as these, help us ensure our systems and equipment are prepared to handle the extreme conditions we continue to see across our service area," said Donna Cooper, Pepco region president. "This work is essential to our operational success and making sure we can provide our customers the safe, affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy services they expect from us, no matter what."
The helicopters conducting the aerial inspections will fly low at a moderate speed, completing comprehensive visual inspections of transmission lines and guy wire grounding, which is used to support utility poles and protect against potential issues. Helicopters provide a more efficient and safer option for this kind of work when access to structures on the ground is limited, while minimizing impacts to customers in the local area. The use of an infrared camera provides the team with a clear visual of potential areas of concern on the transmission line and other associated equipment. Following the inspections, Pepco will complete any necessary upgrades and maintenance.
Inspections are scheduled to take place in the District and Prince George's and Montgomery counties. This work is not anticipated to impact energy service in the company's service area.
This is just one example of how Pepco continually works to help improve and strengthen service reliability. Other reliability work includes trimming trees that could potentially impact the system, building new substations, building new underground equipment, and installing stronger, tree-resistant aerial cable. The company also installs innovative technologies to improve system reliability, such as specialized equipment that can automatically restore service more quickly or isolate damage. These new technologies have been a main driver behind the continued drop in the number of outages customers experience.
In fact, Pepco customers experienced the fastest restoration times ever, as well as some of the lowest number of electric outages, on average, in the company's history in 2018. During the past five years, the frequency of service interruptions for customers also have decreased 23 percent in the District of Columbia and 37 percent in Maryland. During the same time, customers in the District were restored 44 minutes faster and Maryland customers were restored 24 minutes faster, on average.
To learn more about Pepco, visit The Source, Pepco's online news room. Find additional information by visiting pepco.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/pepcoconnect and on Twitter at twitter.com/pepcoconnect. Pepco's mobile app is available at pepco.com/mobileapp.
Pepco is a unit of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), the nation's leading energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. Pepco provides safe and reliable energy service to approximately 883,000 customers in the District of Columbia and Maryland.