FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) on Oct. 2 said that it and its subsidiaries are rebuilding and modernizing an electric transmission line to enhance service reliability for West Penn Power and Penn Power customers in Butler and Mercer counties.
A company spokesperson on Oct. 3 told TransmissionHub that the Campbell-Keisters 138-kV Transmission Rebuild Project has a cost of $14.5m.
FirstEnergy noted in its statement that the project involves replacing the existing 69- kV poles and wires with new structures capable of supporting 138-kV operation. The upgraded line will extend about 7.5 miles between existing electric substations in Slippery Rock Township, Butler County and Grove City Borough, Mercer County, the company said.
Remote control switching devices are being added to allow grid operators to respond to operational conditions more quickly, FirstEnergy said, adding that new equipment was also added to two substations to handle the line’s increased capacity and support growing electric demand.
Construction is now underway, with the new line expected to be energized by the end of this year. As required by state law, FirstEnergy and its operating companies recently obtained approval to rebuild the line by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
The project is part of Energizing the Future, which is a multi-year investment initiative aimed at upgrading FirstEnergy’s transmission facilities with advanced equipment and technologies that will reinforce the power grid and help reduce the frequency and duration of customer outages, the company said.
FirstEnergy said that since 2014, it has upgraded or replaced existing transmission lines, incorporated new and smart technology into the grid, as well as outfitted dozens of substations with new equipment and enhanced security features. Those upgrades are producing reliability improvements across the company’s transmission system, the company said, adding that it will continue those investments through 2021, with planned spending of $4.2bn to $5.8bn over the next five years.