FirstEnergy to invest about about $975m in 2017 in Penelec, Met-Ed, West Penn Power, Penn Power service territories

FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) said that it is investing about $975m in infrastructure projects this year to enhance and strengthen the electric system in the Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed), West Penn Power, and Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power) service territories.

In one March 7 statement, FirstEnergy said that it plans to invest about $367m this year on distribution and transmission infrastructure projects to help enhance reliability in the Penelec service territory including:

  • Rebuilding a 115-kV transmission line between Wysox and Troy in Bradford County, with about $20.5m expected to be spent in 2017. The project will be completed in 2018, and will add capacity to the transmission system, as well as increase operational flexibility
  • Adding four 230-kV circuits at a substation in Granville Township, Mifflin County, at a cost of about $5.4m to help enhance reliability and operational flexibility
  • Installing voltage regulating equipment at a substation in Bridgewater Township, Susquehanna County, at an expected cost of $4.2m
  • Renovating multiple overhead power lines throughout the company’s 17,000-square-mile service territory at a cost of about $2.4m

FirstEnergy said that more than $186m of the budgeted total will be spent on transmission-related projects owned by its transmission companies, Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission (MAIT) and Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Company (TrAILCo).

In a separate March 7 statement, FirstEnergy said that it expects to invest about $245m this year on distribution and transmission infrastructure projects to help enhance reliability in the Met-Ed service territory, including:

  • Adding a new transformer at a substation in Straban Township, Adams County, at a cost of $7.6m to increase capacity and redundancy
  • Installing four 230-kV circuit breakers and other equipment at a substation in Londonderry Township, Dauphin County, at a cost of $4.7m to enhance reliability and operational flexibility
  • Inspecting and replacing utility poles, as needed, at an expected cost of $4.6m throughout the Met-Ed service area. Inspections began in January, and replacement work is scheduled to be done throughout the year
  • Renovating multiple overhead power lines throughout the company’s 3,500-square-mile service territory at a cost of almost $4m

FirstEnergy said that about $104m of the budgeted total will be spent on transmission-related projects owned by MAIT.

In another March 7 statement, FirstEnergy said that it plans to invest about $235m during 2017 on infrastructure upgrades to enhance service reliability in West Penn Power’s service area, including:

  • Rebuilding a 7.5-mile, 69-kV line connecting a substation near Grove City in Mercer County to a substation near Slippery Rock in Butler County, to enhance service reliability. Pending regulatory approval, the line would be rebuilt using 120 new wood pole structures, with about four miles located in West Penn Power’s service area and the rest in neighboring Penn Power’s service area. The substation near Slippery Rock would be upgraded with four new breakers and a reconfigured transformer to accommodate higher voltage. The project has a total cost of about $14.8m, and construction could begin as early as the fall
  • Building a transmission line to provide electric service to a new section of a coal mine near Mt. Morris in Greene County at a cost of about $1m. The new line will interconnect with an existing transmission line and is scheduled to be in service in the fall
  • Building a 1.3-mile transmission line at a cost of about $4m to provide electrical service to a natural gas processing facility under development in Smith Township, Washington County, near Burgettstown, Pa.
  • Completing a new transmission substation in Washington County to support two new midstream gas processing facilities near Burgettstown that require large amounts of electricity. The project also includes specialized voltage-regulating equipment engineered to respond to real-time electrical conditions, which is expected to benefit more than 40,000 West Penn Power customers in Washington and Allegheny counties. About $11m of the $40m project will be spent this year. The new substation is scheduled to be fully operational in mid-2017
  • Investing about $21m on various reliability projects throughout West Penn Power’s 24-county service area

FirstEnergy said that about $23m of the budgeted total will be for transmission-related projects owned by TrAILCo.

In a separate March 7 statement, FirstEnergy said that it expects to invest about $128m on distribution and transmission projects to enhance reliability for customers in Penn Power’s western Pennsylvania service area, including:

  • Rebuilding more than 17 miles of a 69-kV transmission line connecting substations in New Castle and Slippery Rock to enhance service reliability for customers in Lawrence and Butler counties. The nearly $20m project is expected to be completed by August
  • Rebuilding 38 miles of a 69-kV transmission line connecting substations in New Castle and Ellwood City to enhance service reliability for customers in Beaver and Lawrence counties at a cost of almost $12m
  • Upgrading an existing 7.5-mile, 69-kV transmission line connecting substations in Butler and Mercer counties to support 138-kV operation. About $4m is expected to be spent this year on the project
  • Building a new modular substation in Stoneboro and rebuilding more than eight miles of a nearby distribution line at a cost of $5m
  • Building a new modular substation in New Castle at a cost of $1.7m
  • Replacing capacitor banks, transformers, breakers and relays, as well as other equipment in the Hoytdale, Shenango, Beaver Valley, Warrendale, and Harlan substations at a cost of more than $8m

The company said that about $77m of the total spend will be for transmission projects owned by its transmission affiliate, American Transmission Systems, Incorporated.

FirstEnergy on March 6 said that it plans to invest about $1bn this year to enhance and strengthen the electric systems in the Ohio Edison, Jersey Central Power & Light, The Illuminating Company, and Potomac Edison service areas. On March 2, FirstEnergy 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.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3061 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.