For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 18, 2018) – During the summer months, Pepco will inspect more than 2,000 miles of transmission lines by helicopter in Maryland and the District of Columbia. The aerial inspections are part of the company's ongoing commitment to deliver safe and reliable energy for its customers. Pepco's aerial inspections are part of the preventive maintenance work the company performs throughout the year to proactively review its system and address potential problems before they occur.
"We are constantly working around the clock to enhance the reliability, safety, and efficiency of our systems," said Donna Cooper, Pepco region president. "Aerial inspections with helicopters allow us to meet our customers' energy needs and locate troublesome complications before they occur."
The helicopters conducting the aerial inspections will be flying low to complete comprehensive visual inspections of transmission lines and guy wire grounding, which is used to support utility poles and protect against potential issues. Following the inspections, Pepco will make any necessary repairs and replacements so the power lines can continue to safely serve customers.
In Maryland, inspections will occur in Montgomery and Prince George's counties. Inspections will also occur across the District of Columbia.
Pepco has also been studying new opportunities to enhance the way it inspects the local energy grid to maintain reliable service for customers. The rapid growth of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), more commonly known as drones, presents a host of opportunities to incorporate this advanced technology into daily operations. Pepco will continue to use this innovative approach to assess the condition of the energy grid, in conjunction with traditional physical human inspections from the ground or by helicopter.
In addition to the aerial inspections, Pepco follows a targeted annual plan to further enhance overall system reliability and safety for customers. This plan includes inspecting existing infrastructure, installing new, more modern equipment, and installing stronger, tree-resistant aerial cable, and trimming trees, which cause about 40 percent of power outages for customers each year. The company also uses innovative technologies to improve system reliability, such as specialized equipment that can automatically restore service more quickly or isolate damage. This work is essential in helping prevent those outages that can be prevented.
Pepco customers are benefitting from the enhancements that are being made to the local energy grid. Over the past five years, the company has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in Maryland and the District of Columbia modernizing the energy grid. As a result, the number of electric outages has decreased by 37 percent in the District and 49 percent in Maryland. In 2017, customers experienced the lowest average number of electric outages in the company's history, as well as the fastest restoration times ever.
To learn more, readers are encouraged to visit The Source, Pepco's online news room. Find additional information about Pepco by visiting www.pepco.com. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pepcoconnect and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pepcoconnect. Our mobile app is available at www.pepco.com/mobileapp.
About Pepco: Pepco, a public utility owned by Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), provides safe and reliable energy to more than 842,000 electric delivery customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.