JCP&L plans to invest $200M to improve electricity distribution network in New Jersey

Jersey Central Power & Light on Feb. 28 said it plans to invest nearly $200 million in 2012 to improve electricity distribution network in New Jersey. The utility will invest on projects designed to improve service reliability and help meet the increasing demand for electricity in northern and central New Jersey.

“The substantial investments we plan to make this year and in the future are part of JCP&L’s ongoing efforts to improve the quality of service we provide our customers,” JCP&L President Don Lynch said in a statement. “We have targeted projects such as replacing wires and poles, installing new fuses, adding new equipment, and trimming trees, all to improve service to our customers.”

JCP&L will invest more than $2 million to upgrade over 40 distribution circuits in a variety of communities to enhance service reliability. The improvements are expected to reduce outages on key distribution lines that serve nearly 90,000 customers in northern and central New Jersey.

Further, the utility said it will inspect and replace distribution and sub-transmission utility poles that are reaching the end of their service life. This inspection process is conducted on a 10-year cycle. Inspections will begin in the spring, with replacement work scheduled to be completed throughout the fall.

JCP&L also intends to replace older underground distribution cables and complete Lake Iliff substation in Andover Township, Sussex County, which will provide additional circuits designed to shorten the duration of outages. The project, which will cost more than $4 million, is slated for completion this summer.

The utility is working to complete construction of a new substation and distribution facilities in Tewksbury, Califon, and surrounding towns. The new substation and distribution network, estimated to cost more than $4 million, will be energized this fall.

JCP&L said it will be installing distribution capacitors to help maintain proper voltage levels, which will benefit the utility’s industrial and large commercial customers that operate large motors, drives and machinery.

In addition, the utility will construct a new distribution circuit to serve Thor Labs in Newton, and a new transformer foundation at the Larabee substation in Howell. It will also invest in vegetation management to trim trees, maintain proper clearances and mitigate potential damage to distribution facilities from falling tree limbs.

JCP&L, which serves 1.1 million customers in 13 counties in New Jersey, is a subsidiary of First Energy (FE).