Lehigh Valley

PPL ready for hot summer

PPL ready for hot summer

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The official start of summer is just days away, but it was already feeling like it Tuesday.

People will be cranking the air conditioning and PPL wants to make sure it's ready to handle the summer demand.

Crews battled the heat in Bethlehem to get equipment prepared.

"Sometimes it feels like you're in an oven," said Brian Walter, a PPL lineman. "In the rubber gloves and sleeves it's pretty hot. You've just got to keep drinking fluids all day."

He was among the workers who battled the high temperatures Tuesday to replace older equipment with smart grid equipment.

"The equipment they installed today can automatically detect a problem on the line and it will briefly kind of open up, interrupt power for just a few seconds, and then restore power," explained Sarah Fliszar, PPL Regional Director of Operations. "What's new about this equipment, though, is that it will send information back to the main office about where the problem is. Previous older devices didn't have that capability."

Along with installing the smart grid equipment, PPL is also trimming trees and building new power lines and substations.

"We're really focused on the demand on our system in the summer and as people run air conditioners on very hot days, that demand really spikes and we want to ensure that we have reliable service every day of the year," said Fliszar.

Some didn't seem to mind the hot weather.

Walter said, "I was waiting for this. I don't like the winter so I'll do this over ten degrees any day."

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