Met-Ed upgrading electric system in Berks to prevent service disruptions

Project designed to enhance service reliability for about 1,100 customers

Met-Ed has announced it will be upgrading its distribution system in Berks County to help prevent or minimize the length of service disruptions, particularly during severe storms.

The work includes installing remote-controlled equipment on a power line in Exeter Township to provide additional flexibility for the local electric network that helps prevent service disruptions and restore power faster for about 1,100 customers.

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The upgrades are part of Met-Ed’s Long Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan, a five-year, $153 million initiative to accelerate capital investments in the company’s electric distribution system that help ensure continued electric service reliability for customers.

“The installation of smart devices that utilize advanced technology will allow our electric system operators to monitor real-time conditions on power lines and remotely control switches to quickly isolate damage and temporarily reconfigure the system, keeping the lights on for customers when our crews must make repairs,” said Scott Wyman, president of FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania Operations.

“This is the latest of several projects we’ve recently undertaken in Exeter Township on both overhead and underground power lines to help enhance electric service for our customers.”

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Crews will install the automated devices on a half-mile stretch of power line along Oley Turnpike Road from Beecham Road to Route 562, benefiting customers in the Farming Ridge and Glen Oley Farms subdivisions and nearby areas.

Several poles will be replaced to accommodate the new devices, as well as equipment that regulates voltage on the line. The work is expected to begin this summer and be completed by fall.

Other recent work completed by Met-Ed includes construction of a new half-mile long power line along Gibraltar Road from Shelbourne Road almost to Route 422, creating a new tie between two power lines.

With the placement of four new automated devices on the lines, system operators can remotely operate switches to isolate damage and temporarily transfer customers from one power line to the other when crews must make repairs. That work benefits more than 1,000 customers in the Pathfinder Meadows, Exeter Golf Course Estates, Country Club Estates, Wingspread and Dunham Drive developments.

In addition, Met-Ed injected 2.5 miles of underground power lines with a silicone-based fluid that should prolong the lines’ useful life by up to 30 years, enhancing service reliability for 325 residents in the Farming Ridge development.

This advanced repair method allows the cable to provide continued reliable electric service for a fraction of the replacement cost and minimizes the need to dig trenches through landscaped yards and driveways. Crews also replaced about 1,000 feet of underground cable and installed five new transformers in the neighborhood as part of the project.

Met-Ed serves approximately 580,000 customers within 3,300 square miles of eastern and southeastern Pennsylvania.

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