During a January 10th walk up Albemarle, I saw that Pepco had blocked off the street, and that a crew was putting up new utility poles in front of the Iraqi ambassador’s residence.
I also ran into Donald Hertzmark, a neighbor on Ellicott Terrace who had stopped to take a look at strange-looking equipment that sat in the bed of a truck. We started to chat about the work, and he told me that capacitors were going up on top of the poles, and that they store some excess capacity to deal with power surges in the neighborhood.
I did not quite understand what this meant, so I decided to contact Dee Smith, Mary Cheh’s director of constituent services, to see if I could get the story from Pepco. Dee got right on it, and I got this communication from Chris Taylor, Pepco’s public affairs manager for the DC Region, on January 17th.
“Pepco crews are working near the 3100 block of Albemarle St. NW to improve service reliability in the area. Our crews are upgrading feeder 14133 (our local feeder). A feeder is an electrical power line that serves about 1,100 customers in a specific area.
As part of our Reliability Enhancement Plan, our project on Albemarle St. NW involves installing a new automatic circuit recloser (ACR), four new poles, two new transformers and one capacitor bank. The ACR will automatically detect and isolate outages, which means customers can get power back quicker and fewer customers would be impacted should an outage occur.
Pepco has recently completed additional reliability improvements on feeder 14133. This feeder has lines both underground and on overhead poles. Pepco recently increased the capacity of this feeder by installing 8,300 feet of new underground cable and replacing 3,000 feet of overhead wire. We’ve also trimmed trees that could cause outages for overhead wires.”
To find out more about Pepco’s Reliability Enhancement Plan work in the District of Columbia at pepco.com/energy/reliability/dcplan.
And you can contact Chris Taylor with questions and concerns:
Public Affairs Manager, DC Region
701 9th St. NW
Washington, DC 20068