Penelec continues inspection, replacement of utility poles

Published on June 02, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), a FirstEnergy Corp. utility, recently said that it plans to inspect nearly 42,000 of its wooden utility poles and replace or repair nearly 2,300 of them this year.

Workers will check for signs of wear, insect infestation or damage from motor vehicle accidents. The inspection program has a budgeted cost of approximately $3 million.

“Our poles are vital to the delivery of electricity to homes and businesses in the Penelec service area,” Scott Wyman, regional president of Penelec, said. “Our inspection and maintenance program for the poles is designed to help enhance service reliability for our customers; a commitment Penelec and its employees
take very seriously. While durable, these poles are subject to damage from severe weather, falling trees, and traffic accidents, and periodically need to be replaced or repaired.”

A standard 40-foot wooden distribution pole is expected to last more than 50 years. Penelec inspects its distribution poles on a 12-year cycle. Specialized contractors typically conduct the inspections, which consist of a visual inspection and testing if the interior is sound. Some poles will be reinforced while others will be replaced.

Inspections began in January and continue through summer, with the remaining pole replacements and repairs scheduled to be completed during the fall.