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FirstEnergy (FE) Checks Infrastructure to Lower Power Outages

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FirstEnergy Corporation’s (FE - Free Report) subsidiaries recently completed the inspection of its transmission lines and maintenance of its ground electrical equipment to meet the expected increase in demand during summers. This was done through helicopter patrols, which is a cost-effective way of inspecting thousands of miles of transmission lines in a short span.

The inspection also included thermovision cameras that have the ability to capture infrared images of any defects or potential problems, which otherwise might not be visible to the human eye from ground. The company conducted inspection of distribution circuits, which are useful in remote locations as they can automatically adjust voltage levels to accommodate changing system conditions.

Need for Maintenance

To cater to the surge in demand for electricity during the summer season and to remain prepared for tackling hurricanes and potential severe storms that mainly occur during the hot months, the company needs to ensure that its existing assets underwent proper renovation.

Proper inspection helps the company locate the hot spots first and then undertake repairing work to fix the lines. In such cases, only effective maintenance will guarantee uninterrupted power supply to nearly six million customers that it serves in different states and increase the reliability of its services.

FirstEnergy is working consistently on maintaining its infrastructure. Annually, the company employs tree contractors who work round the year to ensure proper vegetation management in its service territories. Earlier this year, the utility invested $97 million in automation and infrastructure reliability projects to reduce the impacts of severe weather. Moreover, according to its ‘Energizing the Future’ plan, it decides to invest $1.1-$1.45 billion annually through 2023 in enhancing and expanding its regulated transmission capabilities.

Many other utilities are also pumping their resources heavily into strengthening infrastructure to provide better services. These include Dominion Energy (D - Free Report) , NextEra Energy (NEE - Free Report) and DTE Energy Company (DTE - Free Report) . While DTE Energy and Dominion Energy expect to spend $14 billion and $32 billion, respectively, over the 2021-2025 period, NextEra Energy intends to spend $50-$55 billion during the 2019-2022 forecast period. These capital plans are aimed at improving the company’s infrastructure, thereby enhancing the reliability of its services and enriching its clean energy portfolio.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

In the past month, shares of the company have gained 1.6% against the industry’s 1.1% decline.

One Month Price Performance

Zacks Investment ResearchImage Source: Zacks Investment Research

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