The Little League World Series is over for another year, with a team from the Binghamton, N.Y., area reigning as champions.
Here at PPL Electric Utilities, we work closely with event organizers each year to avoid any power interruptions during the internationally watched event in Williamsport.
Support Engineer Ray Severns, based in nearby Montoursville, describes the steps we take to ensure reliable service:
– Employees representing field crews, engineering and planning met a few weeks before the event with Little League leaders and representatives of the Little League’s electrical contractor. This annual meeting and site walkdown allows everyone to raise any concerns, update contact information, and discuss what steps to take should an outage occur. (A photo of the site meeting is at right.)
– Crews conducted visual and infrared inspections of the primary and alternate lines serving the Little League complex. They also inspected lines for potential tree issues, so any needed trimming could be performed and hazard trees could be removed.
– We made sure the nearest substation and the lines serving it were operating normally, and did not schedule any repair work during the event.
– We staged a field employee at the event on Sunday (8/28), the day of the championship game.
As we do with other key accounts, we also work with Little League throughout the year to resolve concerns. Earlier this year, the organization reported concerns about voltage issues. An infrared scan found a problem with a switch, which was repaired by the league’s electrical contractor.
“This issue had the potential to develop into an outage or partial power, especially given the high demand and high temperatures during the Little League World Series,” Severns said. “We were glad to be able to take care of the issue before it developed into a reliability risk.”
Finally, the main supply line serving the Little League complex has been fitted with smart grid devices, which can lead to faster restoration if there is an outage.
We provide similar preparations for other high-profile events, ranging from Bethlehem’s annual Musikfest to local appearances by presidential candidates.
“Of course, reliable service is important for every customer, every day,” said Dave Bonenberger, vice president-Distribution Operations. “But when the eyes of the country or the world are on our service territory, we go the extra distance to prevent outages and guarantee reliability.”