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FirstEnergy Plans $383M in Upgrades for Ohio Edison

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AKRON, Ohio — FirstEnergy Corp. says it will spent $383 million this year on distribution and transmission infrastructure projects in Ohio Edison’s 36-county service territory, which includes Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties..

Major projects include transmission enhancements to reinforce the system and support economic growth, construction of new circuits, and the inspection and replacement of utility poles and other equipment.

More than $233 million of the budgeted total will be spent on transmission-related projects owned by American Transmission Systems Inc., a FirstEnergy transmission company.

“Each year we carefully review and plan projects that will help enhance service to our customers,” said Randall A. Frame, regional president, Ohio Edison.  “In addition to new infrastructure projects, we also place great emphasis on equipment inspections as a way to help reduce the number of outages our customers might experience.”

Projects scheduled in the Ohio Edison footprint include:

  • Completing construction on a new 114-mile, 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line from FirstEnergy’s Bruce Mansfield Power Plant on the Ohio River to a new substation near Cleveland to help enhance system reliability as a result of power plants being deactivated in the region.  Nearly $73 million is expected to be spent on the project this year, and it is scheduled to go into service by the end of May.
  • Construction of a new transmission substation in the Elyria area budgeted at $9.7 million to help enhance system reliability.
  • Spending more than $5 million to complete a new transmission substation in the Massillon area.
  • Constructing a new 69-kV transmission line in the Berlin Lake area at an estimated cost of $3.2 million.
  • Replacing wire on a 138-kV transmission line that runs between substations in Akron and Barberton at a cost of $2.4 million to enhance service reliability.
  • Installing remote-control equipment and circuit breaker upgrades at various substations throughout the Ohio Edison area at an estimated cost of $2.5 million to help reduce the number and duration of power outages customers might experience.
  • Spending about $1.2 million to complete a modular substation in Brunswick and about $400,000 to complete a similar substation in Akron. Both projects are expected to be in service by June.
  • Investing more than $5.7 million inspecting and replacing distribution poles in Ohio Edison’s service area. This inspection process is conducted on a 10-year cycle. More than 58,000 utility poles are scheduled to be inspected in 2015.

FirstEnergy also announced today that it would spend $281 million to upgrade systems in its Illuminating Company service area that includes Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties. And FirstEnergy said it would spend $120 million for upgrades in its Toledo Edison service area.

SOURCE: FirstEnergy Corp.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.