Met-Ed released additional information today regarding Monday’s power outage in Lebanon County, which affected more than 22,000 customers.
Described by company spokesperson Todd Meyers as “a large outage”, the system failure stemmed from a dislodged piece of wire at the North Lebanon substation that caused equipment to burn, bringing the substation offline.
Meyers said that typically other power lines are available to be used as backup, but right now the system is in a different configuration than normal because three different lines are being rebuilt or upgraded. The company typically schedules maintenance efforts around spring/fall when climate control systems aren’t putting quite as much strain on the power grid.
The North Lebanon substation was connected to four other substations: Annville, Cleona, Campbelltown, and one by Millard Quarry. These substations may have been recoverable more quickly in normal situations when multiple lines are available to serve as backup. But last night, with the system in maintenance mode, the North Lebanon failure caused a much more widespread and longer-lasting outage.
Meyers said that the Monday outage lasted from shortly before 6:15pm until about 10pm when most everyone was brought back at once (although some LebTown readers reported outages that lasted until this morning).
Met-Ed is one of several companies operated by FirstEnergy in Pennsylvania.