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Two FirstEnergy subsidiaries install fencing to keep animals out of substations

image credit: © TransGard
Peter Key's picture
Freelance Writer, Editor, Consultant Self-employed

I've been a business journalist since 1985 when I received an MBA from Penn State. I covered energy, technology, and venture capital for The Philadelphia Business Journal from 1998 through 2013....

  • Member since 2015
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  • Dec 1, 2020

Animals, like us, want to keep warm in winter.

Unlike us, one way they seek to do that is by sheltering in substations where they run the risk of electrocuting themselves and causing power outages.

To keep them out, two FirstEnergy subsidiaries recently installed fencing at their substations in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The fencing is made by TransGard, which says it delivers a mild shock that prevents animals from climbing it and deters them from trying again.

Potomac Edison installed the fencing at its Thomas Street substation in Cumberland, Md. Penn Power installed the fencing at substations in Mercer County, Pa., and Butler County, Pa., and plans to install the fencing at a Lawrence County, Pa., substation by the end of the year.

Potomac Edison said it has installed the fencing at 17 substations since 2014 and has seen a sharp decline in outages due to animals at its substations a result. The company said it reviews outage patterns across its footprint to determine which substations could use the fencing.

Potomac Edison’s experience with the fencing led Penn Power to decide to try it. Like Potomac Edison, Penn Power reviewed outage patterns to determine which substations could use the fencing. The three substations it selected had experienced animal-related equipment damage that caused lengthy power outages. They collectively serve nearly 15,000 customers in western Pennsylvania.

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