To help improve service reliability for customers, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) is continuing construction work this summer and throughout the remainder of 2016 on distribution and transmission infrastructure projects totaling approximately $128 million in Potomac Edison’s service area in western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.
To date, more than $67 million of the total has been spent on a variety of projects, including transmission enhancements to reinforce the system and support economic growth, constructing new distribution circuits, and inspecting and replacing utility poles and underground cables.
“These infrastructure enhancements are necessary to serve the influx of new residents and businesses to our Potomac Edison service territory,” said James A. Sears, Jr., vice president of Potomac Edison. “At the same time, we also are working on projects designed to help enhance the day-to-day service we provide our customers, such as replacing older underground cables and improving existing overhead facilities.”
FirstEnergy projects underway or planned in the Potomac Edison footprint in 2016 include:
• Providing electrical service to the new Procter & Gamble consumer products manufacturing plant under construction in Berkeley County near Martinsburg, W.Va. About $4.6 million of the $9 million project is expected to be spent on work in 2016, which will include engineering and site preparation, and temporary service for construction activities such as producing concrete on location. The project is scheduled for completion in 2017, and will include a new transmission substation and several power lines.
• Replacing the wire on three transmission lines at a cost of about $7.4 million to reinforce the regional transmission system and benefit about 25,000 Potomac Edison customers inJefferson County and 50,000 customers in Berkeley County.
• Upgrading equipment on about 287 distribution circuits throughout Potomac Edison’s service area at an estimated cost of $3.1 million. The enhancements – installing new wire, cable and fuses – are expected to reinforce the electrical system and enhance reliability for nearly 398,000 customers in Maryland and West Virginia.
• Installing a new, one-mile distribution line in Clarksburg, Md., at an estimated cost of about $600,000 to provide additional capacity to serve residential and commercial customers located south of I-270 at Route 121 in Montgomery County.
• Replacing transformers at a distribution substation near Mt. Airy, Md. at a cost of about$2.5 million to provide greater capacity to serve more than 3,400 customers in the eastern end of Frederick County.
• Replacing a transformer at a distribution substation near Charles Town, W.Va. at a cost of about $1 million to enhance service reliability for about 2,200 customers in the Charles Town and Ranson areas.
• Replacing underground distribution cables with new equipment. Work totaling more than$1.5 million is continuing in all areas of the service territory, with a focus in Frederick andMontgomery counties Maryland.
• Spending $2.1 million to inspect and proactively replace distribution and sub-transmission utility poles in the Potomac Edison service area. Approximately 19,000 utility poles will be inspected in 2016, with about 140 expected to be replaced.
About $12 million of the budgeted total will be for transmission-related projects owned by the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Company (TrAILCo), a FirstEnergy transmission affiliate.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company’s transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, while its generation subsidiaries control nearly 17,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro and other renewables.