News Department

JCP&L completes inspections, maintenance to enhance service reliability for customers through the summer

Work also helps prepare for an active hurricane season

Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., has completed inspections and conducted equipment maintenance projects across its 3,200-square-mile service area to enhance customer service reliability as part of its annual summer preparedness plan.

The company also said there ready to respond to power outages caused during the Atlantic hurricane season, which began last week and is forecasted to bring above-average storm activity.

As part of the annual preparations, JCP&L utilizes helicopters and ground-based teams to inspect more than 780 miles of transmission lines located in the JCP&L territory. The reviews look for potential tree-related issues, damaged wires, broken cross arms, failed insulators and switches and other hardware problems. JCP&L also is trimming trees along approximately 3,700 miles of transmission and distributions lines this year, and any other potential reliability issues identified during the work are safely and quickly addressed.

The inspections include the use of thermovision cameras to capture infrared images that can detect potential problems with equipment such as transformers and capacitors. By identifying these hot spots, maintenance and repair efforts can be conducted prior to a power outage occurring.

“Earlier this year, we announced the completion of $97 million in automation and infrastructure reliability projects, designed in part to minimize the impacts of severe weather events,” said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L. “Our team is continuously working to supplement these improvements with strategic decisions to help improve response times in the event of outages.”

One of those strategic moves is the staging of critical equipment closer to the shore and Barrier Island Peninsula because of its attraction to tourism during the summer months and vulnerability to severe weather. When tropical storms and hurricanes make landfall, the first areas they hit are barrier islands – thin ribbons of sand that line the Atlantic Coast and absorb much of a storm’s force, reducing wave energy and protecting inland areas.

As part of its hurricane preparation planning, FirstEnergy’s own team of certified in-house meteorologists use National Hurricane Center data to help predict any hurricane or tropical storm’s impact on JCP&L’s central and northern New Jersey service areas. This information is used to help pre-position outside personnel and resources in New Jersey prior to the weather event occurring.

If a major storm strikes, JCP&L can call on thousands of line workers, hazard responders, forestry workers and support personnel from FirstEnergy’s other utilities that can be deployed to New Jersey to help restore service to customers as quickly as possible. In addition, JCP&L has access to several utility industry mutual assistance organizations that could provide additional resources to help restore service to customers, if necessary.

Last month, JCP&L’s storm readiness team held a training exercise that simulated a large-scale hurricane response, incorporating estimated time of restoration and communication processes that were improved following Tropical Storm Isaias last summer.

Hurricane season officially began June 1, and family storm plans should include extra batteries and flashlights, blankets and sleeping bags, emergency supplies of bottled water and convenient, non-perishable foods. For more information on preparing for severe weather, or for updates if storms do cause power outages, visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.

As summer temperatures soar, JCP&L offers customers tips to help improve their energy efficiency at www.firstenergycorp.com/save_energy.

Summer also is a time when contractors and homeowners spend more time outdoors completing projects. Important outdoor electrical safety tips are available at www.firstenergycorp.com/publicsafety.

JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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