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FirstEnergy (FE) Completes Inspection, Ready for Any Outage

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FirstEnergy Corporation’s (FE - Free Report) subsidiaries recently announced the completion of inspection of transmission lines and maintenance of its electrical equipment on the ground. This was done through cost-effective helicopter patrols, which enabled quick inspection of thousands of miles of transmission lines in the company’s different service territories.

The inspection included thermovision cameras that help capture infrared images of any defect in wiring, broken cross arms, failed insulators and other issues, which otherwise may not be visible to the human eye from ground. Proper inspection aids the company to locate hot spots and then undertake repairing work to fix the lines.

Need for Maintenance

With the outbreak of the coronavirus, came in the stay-at-home orders, driving demand for residential electricity. Further, as FirstEnergy’s 65% of distribution revenues comes from residential customers, the company looks well positioned during the ongoing pandemic crisis.

Hence, to cater to the likely hike in demand in summer and to address the potential threat to infrastructure during the hurricane seasons, which are expected to run through Nov 30, 2020, the existing assets need to undergo some renovation. Effective maintenance will ensure uninterrupted power supply to nearly 6 million customers that it serves in different states and increase reliabilityof itsservice.

Many other utilities are also investing heavily instrengthening infrastructure to provide better services, which include Dominion Energy (D - Free Report) , NextEra Energy (NEE - Free Report) and DTE Energy Company (DTE - Free Report) .


FirstEnergy has been working consistently on maintaining its infrastructure. Every year, the company employs tree contractors who work round the year to ensure proper vegetation management in more than 35,600 miles of electric lines of FirstEnergy.

By this mid-June, the contractors had already finished maintaining more than 13,000 miles of lines and work on another 1800 miles is expected to be completed in the second half of the year. Around the same time,FirstEnergy had decided to invest $324.3 million this year in the service areas of its 10 subsidiaries to prune trees and remove the dead ones and branches for reducing the possibility of tree-related outages.

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 three months, shares of the company have lost 2.3% against the industry’s 2.3% increase.


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