New Windsor Mayor Neal Roop has announced planned actions to address frequent power outages that have been frustrating town residents.
On Wednesday, Roop relayed on Facebook a message from Potomac Edison First Energy Company representative David Kline that “momentary” outages, including on Tuesday, have occurred despite weather conditions being clear and warm, with little wind. Thus, “it is apparent that we have an animal problem. The wind has not been an issue and system loading has not been an issue,” the post read.
“As a result, we are going to put animal guards on every transformer on the circuit in every place that contact could cause a momentary interruption,” the post continued. “This is basically a cover that prevents squirrels and birds from contacting the terminals. It will take some time to get all these installed, so I will keep you updated on the progress. Our goal is to have them all installed by the end of the year.”
In addition, Potomac Edison is “about halfway" done inspecting the circuit that provides power to New Windsor residents, replacing any “questionable” equipment.
Roop also announced that Potomac Edison plans to replace the substation recloser at the beginning of 2020 with a new one, which “will interrupt fewer customers in the event of a momentary fault,” according to Roop’s Facebook post.
The substation recloser replacement, circuit patrols and extra animal protections are all expected to be completed by the end of the year, the officials say.
According to a statement from Kline that Roop posted to Facebook on Tuesday, some outages over the weekend were caused by an underground conductor failure.
“This highlights the multiple sources of problems and illustrates why we are taking a multi-pronged approach to address them," the post continued. "Please encourage the continued reporting of momentary outages.”
The post also said, “We’ll eventually narrow down the problem areas and be able to make things better. Again, it really is helpful when folks send this specific, detailed info. We recognize there are problems and details help us determine the source or sources.”