Why are some people sometimes out of power while others are not?
There are a number of different scenarios. The outage could be related to just one of the substations or just one of the circuits. It also is possible that the cause of the outage - a tree or tree limb, car accident, lightning strike, equipment failure, etc. - was isolated using protective devices built into the infrastructure. These devices - fuses and reclosers - operate when they sense a fault on the line ultimately preventing some customers from losing their electric service due to damage elsewhere on the circuit. Also, in some locations we have tie points to back up circuits that make it possible to bring power in from another direction to temporarily provide service to customers until final repairs are made to their own circuit. However, in all of these scenarios, customers close to the damage point are usually out of power until final repairs are completed.
What is Met-Ed doing to improve system reliability in the Mt. Gretna area?
It will be no surprise to anyone that one of the most common causes of power outages in the state and especially in Mt. Gretna is TREES! Beautiful shady sometimes flowering trees that add so much to the character of the area. Trees and electricity, however, are not the best of friends. In addition to performing inspections and spot trimming on an ongoing basis, Met-Ed also conducts comprehensive tree trimming along its wires. The circuit from Annville was maintained late in 2015 and the circuit out of North Cornwall is currently being trimmed. Our forestry group also will be identifying and removing dead chestnut oaks in Mt. Gretna Borough as needed.
Additionally, throughout 2016 Met-Ed plans to upgrade equipment in the Mt Gretna area and expand the number of devices that can be operated remotely. By using remote controlled equipment, power can be restored to some customers before the repair truck even leaves the Met-Ed parking lot.
All of us at Met-Ed are focused on minimizing the impact of power outages on our customers. New technology partnered with old-fashioned tree trimming are the two best tools in our toolbox.