FirstEnergy’s $98m power line energized in W.Va.; supports shale gas industry

FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) reported Nov. 30 that it has energized a new transmission line in Harrison and Doddridge Counties, West Virginia, which both supports the electric demands of the area’s Marcellus Shale gas industry and helps enhance service reliability for nearly 13,000 Monongahela Power customers in the Clarksburg and Salem areas.

The $98m transmission line is supported by 80 steel structures along an 18-mile corridor linking transmission substations in the Clarksburg and Sherwood areas. The line route parallels an existing FirstEnergy transmission line for about 11 miles north of U.S. Route 50, the company said in a news release.

Crews placed the new 138-kV line in service about a month ago.

“As West Virginia’s prominent shale gas industry continues its upward trajectory, FirstEnergy works diligently to keep pace with infrastructure enhancements such as this new transmission line,” said Holly Kauffman, FirstEnergy’s president of West Virginia Operations. “We are committed to supporting this important growth industry that consumes significant amounts of electricity to run compressor stations and midstream gas processing plants. Our upgrades to the region’s electric grid also enhance service reliability, benefitting thousands of our longtime customers.”

Anchoring both ends of the line are new or upgraded substation facilities. The substation near Clarksburg was expanded to accommodate new circuit breakers added to protect the new 138-kV line.

The new substation near Sherwood, energized in 2014 at a cost of about $56m, was primarily constructed to support the growing electrical needs of a nearby gas plant while also benefitting more than 6,000 Mon Power customers along the U.S. Route 50 corridor in Doddridge, Harrison and Ritchie counties with enhanced service reliability.    

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.