Dec. 07--SHIPPINGPORT -- FirstEnergy Corp. has completed preventative maintenance projects at its two Beaver County power plants in an effort to ensure they run smoothly during the frigid winter months.
The company announced Wednesday that a 13-step "winter readiness program" has been completed at the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station, while a similar eight-step program has been completed at the Bruce Mansfield coal-fired power plant. Those programs included inspections of all buildings, equipment and heating systems, as well as "seasonal-specific training" for power plant employees.
In addition, more than 500 maintenance activities were completed to prepare the plants for winter. Those activities include the installation of heating elements to provide additional warmth to piping infrastructure, more frequent running of water pipes to ensure they don't freeze, adding anti-freeze to various pieces of equipment and increasing fuel stockpiles at coal-fired plants.
The company said it has completed turbine and boiler maintenance at Bruce Mansfield.
In a news release, the company noted that cold weather increases heating needs, which raises the demand for electricity.
"FirstEnergy's coal and nuclear plants are resilient facilities that provide electricity when customers need it most," spokesman Don Moul said. "Because the plants maintain large quantities of onsite fuel, they are not affected by fuel delivery disruptions that occur due to ice, snow and extreme cold temperatures. Our seasonal work activities add another layer of assurance that these plants will continue to operate reliably during all types of weather."
FirstEnergy has said it will also maintain "close contact" with the PJM Interconnection grid operator in an effort to avoid scheduling plant maintenance work during periods of high electricity demand.
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