Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company Completed Equipment Upgrades in 2013 Designed to Enhance Service Reliability $151 Million Spent Last Year to Expand and Strengthen Electric System in Northeast Ohio
FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) spent approximately $151 million on service reliability upgrades in its Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI) northeast Ohio service territory in 2013. The work included completing a new transmission line, installing smart grid technology, rebuilding and upgrading circuits and inspecting and replacing utility poles.
"The system-wide infrastructure enhancements we completed in 2013, combined with the outstanding work being done by our employees, helped reduce, on average, the number of outages our customers experienced compared to previous years," said John Skory, regional president, CEI. "In addition, when an outage did occur it was, on average, for a shorter period of time. These projects help us enhance day-to-day service reliability and maintain our system's capability to handle future load growth."
One of the key projects completed in 2013 was a new 138-kilovolt transmission line in Geauga County, which is expected to enhance service reliability and provide for future load growth. The total cost of the project was $30 million over several years, with $10 million spent in 2013. The project was built and is owned by CEI's transmission affiliate, American Transmission Systems Incorporated.
Work also started on a major project designed to upgrade the distribution system in Cleveland near the Cleveland Clinic, including beginning construction on a new substation and installing new underground circuits. Overall, more than $23 million was spent on this project in 2013.
Highlights of other CEI 2013 reliability work include:
- Installing Smart Grid technology in the Geauga County area, including advanced sectionalizing equipment designed to isolate and restore outages remotely, at a cost of approximately $20 million.
- Completing approximately $13 million of vegetation management work along nearly 2,200 miles of electrical lines. In addition, more than $1.5 million was spent to proactively remove 1,200 trees affected by the Emerald Ash Borer in northeast Ohio.
- Inspecting and replacing utility poles in the CEI service area at a cost of $8.8 million. More than 44,000 poles were inspected and about 2,300 replaced or reinforced.
- Inspecting underground circuits and replacing more than 70,000 feet of underground cable at a cost of $4 million.
- Inspecting and replacing overhead circuits at a cost of $2.5 million, including adding automatic reclosing devices, and replacing crossarms, lightning arrestors, fuses, and animal guards as needed.
- Relocating switching equipment from a substation in Wickliffe to another CEI substation nearby at a cost of $3 million.
Also in 2013, FirstEnergy began offering a free smartphone app and text alerts for outage and account management, providing customers with more information and greater flexibility.
Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company serves more than 750,000 customers across Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties. Visit FirstEnergy on the web at www.firstenergycorp.com, and follow Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company on Twitter @IlluminatingCo.
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.
This news release includes forward-looking statements based on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. These statements include declarations regarding management's intents, beliefs and current expectations. These statements typically contain, but are not limited to, the terms "anticipate," "potential," "expect," "will," "intend," "believe," "estimate" and similar words. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. 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