FirstEnergy to invest about $1bn in 2017 in Ohio Edison, JCP&L, The Illuminating Company, Potomac Edison service areas

FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) on March 6 said that it plans to invest about $1bn in 2017 to enhance and strengthen the electric systems in the Ohio Edison, Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L), The Illuminating Company, and Potomac Edison service areas.

As TransmissionHub reported, FirstEnergy on March 2 said that it expects to invest $113m this year on distribution and transmission infrastructure projects to help enhance reliability in Toledo Edison’s western Ohio service territory.

In one March 6 statement, FirstEnergy said that it expects to invest about $371m this year on distribution and transmission infrastructure projects to help enhance reliability for customers in the Ohio Edison service territory.

FirstEnergy said that the projects include:

  • Starting construction on a new 28-mile, 138-kV transmission line in the Sandusky and Fremont areas. Twelve miles are in Ohio Edison territory and 16 miles are located in the Toledo Edison footprint. For 2017, Ohio Edison expects to spend about $9m on this project, which is scheduled to be energized in May of 2018
  • Rebuilding a 15-mile, 69-kV transmission line that connects substations in Garrettsville and Newton Falls to help enhance system reliability for customers in Portage and Trumbull counties. The project is budgeted at about $23m, and is scheduled to go online by the end of the year
  • Completing a 12 mile, 69-kV transmission line project that will enhance service reliability to about 7,500 customers in Huron County. The work includes installing nine miles of new circuit and three miles of existing circuit being rebuilt between substations in Norwalk and North Fairfield. The overall cost of the project is more than $18m, with $9.3m expected to be spent in 2017. The line is scheduled to be operational by the end of May
  • Rebuilding a 138-kV transmission line from a substation in Twinsburg to one in Hudson that provides electricity to the city’s municipal electric system. The cost of the project is about $6.6m
  • Rebuilding a 69-kV transmission line in the Ashland area at a cost of $3.3m

FirstEnergy said that more than $227m of the budgeted total will be spent on transmission-related projects owned by FirstEnergy’s American Transmission Systems, Incorporated (ATSI).

In another March 6 statement, FirstEnergy said that JCP&L plans to invest $359m this year on infrastructure projects and other work to enhance reliability across its 13-county northern and central New Jersey service area.

The company said that the projects include:

  • Completing construction of a new 16-mile, 230-kV transmission line from a substation in Howell to a substation in Neptune, and installing five one-ton circuit breakers at a cost of about $24m
  • Upgrading transmission protective devices, circuit breakers and other equipment across the JCP&L service area at a cost of $5.4m. The equipment automatically disconnects from the system when a problem is detected to reduce the length of an outage and the number of customers that are affected
  • Adding a new 34.5-kV transmission line in Eatontown at a cost of $4.8m

In another March 6 statement, FirstEnergy said that it plans to invest about $172m this year on infrastructure upgrades to enhance service reliability in The Illuminating Company’s five-county northeast Ohio service area.

The company said that projects include:

  • Adding circuit breakers and other equipment to substations in Brooklyn, Cleveland, Cuyahoga Heights, Mayfield Heights, Middleburg Heights, Northfield, and Walton Hills at a combined cost of more than $21m. If a problem is detected on the system, breakers interrupt the flow of electricity before permanent and costly damage can occur in the substation. The work is expected to be completed throughout 2017
  • Replacing insulators and other equipment on multiple 138-kV transmission lines in the Cleveland area at a cost of about $4.2m
  • Building a new modular substation in Brecksville at an expected cost of $1.3m to help accommodate growing electrical usage in Brecksville and surrounding communities. The substation is expected to be energized by summer

First Energy said that about $56m of the budgeted total is expected to be spent on transmission-related projects owned by ATSI.

In a separate March 6 statement, FirstEnergy said that it expects to invest $135m this year on distribution and transmission infrastructure projects to help enhance service reliability for its customers in Potomac Edison’s service area in western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

The company said that projects include:

  • Ongoing work to provide electrical service to the new Procter & Gamble consumer products manufacturing plant under construction in Berkeley County near Martinsburg, W.Va.  The $8m project includes a new distribution substation, upgrades to other nearby substations, and several power lines. About $4.7m is expected to be spent on work this year, with the project scheduled for completion in 2018
  • Completing work on a new $5m power line and substation project under construction in Hardy County, W.Va., along State Route 259 that will enhance service reliability for about 2,200 customers in the Baker and Mathias areas. The project will divide the existing 270-mile long circuit – the longest in Potomac Edison’s service area – into three shorter segments and also improve service to a nearby compressor station for a major natural gas supply pipeline
  • Rebuilding a seven-mile transmission line connecting a substation near White Post, Va., to a substation near Front Royal, Va., at a cost of about $5.4m. The project includes replacing about 50 wooden structures with new wooden structures, and replacing the wire with a larger diameter conductor to increase the capacity of the line. Construction started in January, and the project is scheduled to be in service by early June. The transmission system upgrade should enhance the regional grid and enhance service reliability for customers of two interconnected electric cooperatives in Virginia

FirstEnergy also said that about $3m of the budgeted total will be for transmission-related projects owned by its transmission affiliate, Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Company.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3058 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.