WMECo Prepares Electric System for Summer Spikes, Seasonal Storms
Company suggests ways for customers to stay safe and be prepared
Springfield, Mass. (June 11, 2014) – With summer nearly upon us, WMECo is letting customers know the company is prepared for the annual spike in electricity use and onset of seasonal storms that come with the hot weather. As increasing temperatures prompt heightened use of air conditioning in homes and businesses, demand for electricity across New England is historically at its highest during the summer months. And, with hurricane season officially here, this is also the time of year when more frequent storms could pose a threat to the electric grid.
"We work year-round to make our system stronger, focusing on continuing to meet the summer's increased demand for electricity and reducing storm-related outages,” said WMECo Vice President of Electric Operations Robert Coates. “We prepare for the unique challenges that each season brings by investing millions of dollars in our system annually to improve service reliability.”
WMECo’s annual system reliability work includes comprehensive ground and aerial inspections of its existing equipment using high-resolution digital photography, as well as visual and infrared inspections of over 240 miles of overhead transmission lines. The company also performed infrared and visual inspections of key electrical distribution equipment in communities across its service area. Year-round tree pruning, aimed at reducing tree-related power outages, is also a key part of the company’s commitment to providing reliable electric service.
WMECo continues to perform storm hardening on overhead lines to improve their resiliency during summer thunderstorms, and installed additional automation to reduce the impact of outages when they do occur.
In addition, the completion of the $676 million dollar Greater Springfield Reliability Project to upgrade the electric transmission system will also ensure the improved delivery of electricity to the region during the summer months.
Just as WMECo is continuously preparing for difficult weather conditions, the company reminds customers to also be ready by considering the following information:
· As work begins on home improvement projects, WMECo reminds everyone to stay clear of overhead power lines. If improvements involve digging, always be sure to call DigSafe first (811 or 888-DIG-SAFE.)
· Making a list of key phone numbers and preparing an emergency kit are ideal ways to be ready for severe weather or power outages. Items to include in emergency kits include water, non-perishable food, medications, flashlights, batteries and extra cash.
· While emergency generators can be very useful during power outages, it’s crucial to personal safety and the safety of others – including WMECo’s line crews – that they be installed and operated properly. Never run a generator indoors or near windows.
More information about preparing for severe weather and power outages can be found at