The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Recommends That the State's 11 Electric Utilities Step Up Tree-Trimming and Replacement of Aging Infrastructure in Light of a Spike in Major Power Outages Last Year [Derived Headline]

By Himler, Jeff | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 1, 2018 | Go to article overview

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Recommends That the State's 11 Electric Utilities Step Up Tree-Trimming and Replacement of Aging Infrastructure in Light of a Spike in Major Power Outages Last Year [Derived Headline]


Himler, Jeff, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission recommends that the state's 11 electric utilities step up tree-trimming and replacement of aging infrastructure in light of a spike in major power outages last year.

In its annual Electric Service Reliability Report, issued Tuesday, the PUC noted total major outage events among the utilities jumped from 20 in 2016 to 50 last year - the highest number since data collection began in 1993.

West Penn Power had 11 major outages last year, the most of any of the utilities. Duquesne Light had 6 such outages.

Those numbers include outages that interrupt service to 5 percent of a utility's total customers or at least 2,500 customers, whichever is less, for six or more consecutive hours.

Nearly all of the 2017 outages were triggered by severe spring and summer thunderstorms. Overall, storms disrupted power to 1.3 million customers in the state last year, nearly twice the 2016 figure and more than double the 2015 amount.

Outage spikes in previous years were associated with a smaller number of high-impact storms - such as Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Duquesne Light, which serves about 590,000 customers over 817 square miles, experienced interruptions equaling 7. …

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