More Than $250 Million Will Be Spent in 2014 in JCP&L Service Area to Enhance and Maintain Electric System and Reliability Company Increases Spend to Focus on Infrastructure Projects Designed to Help Reduce Number and Duration of Outages
Having spent more than $2 billion in capital improvements since 2001, Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) plans to spend an additional $251 million in 2014 to further expand and strengthen its infrastructure to enhance and maintain service reliability throughout its 13 county service area. This represents about a $50 million increase compared to what the company spent on reliability infrastructure in the region last year.
Major projects scheduled for this year include completing and planning the construction of transmission lines in Monmouth, Ocean and Morris counties, completing a smart grid modernization project in Morris County and constructing a new substation in Hunterdon County. The company is also scheduled to upgrade 118 circuits, add new circuits, inspect and replace utility poles and perform tree trimming work on more than 3,400 miles of distribution and transmission lines.
"We review planning and analysis data each year and dedicate the necessary resources to continually improve our system to exceed customer expectations and deliver the quality service our customers expect and deserve," said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L. "The 2014 infrastructure spend includes projects to implement new technologies, further improve reliability and prepare for future growth."
JCP&L's 2014 planned system expenditures include:
- Upgrading more than 118 distribution circuits at a cost of nearly $6 million in a variety of communities to enhance service reliability. The improvements - adding animal guards, spacer cable, fuses, reclosers and adding new wire - are expected to reduce outages on distribution circuits that serve 184,000 customers in northern and central New Jersey.
- Initiating a Department of Energy $7 million smart grid technology modernization project on three circuits serving Bernards Township, Harding Township and Morristown.
- Implementing additional recloser technologies to allow the automatic transfer of customers to other circuits to minimize outage impacts and reduce restoration times.
- Inspecting 233 circuits starting at substations to proactively identify and replace equipment.
- Replacing underground distribution cables.
- Performing infrared scans on 300 circuits to detect equipment in need of replacement and proactively perform work.
- Inspecting and proactively replacing, if needed, more than 34,000 utility poles.
- Performing tree trimming work on 3,400 miles of line.
JCP&L also will continue its Energizing the Future transmission system enhancement program with work scheduled on projects totaling about $150 million in northern and central New Jersey including:
- Completing the new 115 kilovolt (kV) line between the Englishtown substation in Manalapan and the Wyckoff substation in Hightstown. The $23 million project also includes the addition of four 115 kV breakers within the substation.
- Completing construction on a new $10 million substation in West Amwell to provide flexibility and enhance reliability in Hunterdon County and the Hopewell area of Mercer County.
- Installing equipment to upgrade the Manalapan substation in Monmouth County including a new transformer, a new 230 kV breaker and constructing two new distribution circuits.
- Planning and designing a new $13.5 million, 34.5 kV line between the Montville and Riverdale substations in Morris County to support future load growth.
- Planning and designing a new $19 million, 230 kV line between the Whippany and Montville substations to support future load growth and enhance reliability.
- Planning and designing a new $53 million, 230 kV line between the Oceanview substation in Neptune and the Larabee substation in Howell.
JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE). JCP&L serves 1.1 million New Jersey customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren. Follow JCP&L on Twitter @JCP_L , on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL, or online at www.jcp-l.com.
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. Actual results may differ materially due to the speed and nature of increased competition in the electric utility industry, in general, and the retail sales market in particular; the impact of the regulatory process on the pending matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and in the various states in which we do business including, but not limited to, matters related to rates and pending rate cases; the uncertainties of various cost recovery and cost allocation issues resulting from American Transmission Systems, Incorporated's realignment into PJM Interconnection LLC; economic or weather conditions affecting future sales and margins; regulatory outcomes associated with storm restoration, including but not limited to Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm of 2011; changing energy, capacity and commodity market prices including, but not limited to, coal, natural gas and oil, and availability and their impact on retail margins; the continued ability of our regulated utilities to recover their costs; costs being higher than anticipated and the success of our policies to control costs and to mitigate low energy, capacity and market prices; other legislative and regulatory changes, and revised environmental requirements, including possible greenhouse gas emission, water discharge, water intake and coal combustion residual regulations, the potential impacts of Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), and/or any laws, rules or regulations that ultimately replace CAIR, and the effects of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rules including our estimated costs of compliance; the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures that may arise in connection with any litigation, including New Source Review litigation or potential regulatory initiatives or rulemakings (including that such expenditures could result in our decision to deactivate or idle certain generating units); the uncertainties associated with the deactivation of certain older regulated and competitive fossil units including the impact on vendor commitments, and the timing thereof as they relate to, among other things, Reliability Must-Run arrangements and the reliability of the transmission grid; adverse regulatory or legal decisions and outcomes with respect to our nuclear operations (including, but not limited to the revocation or non-renewal of necessary licenses, approvals or operating permits by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or as a result of the incident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant); issues arising from the indications of cracking in the shield building at Davis-Besse; the impact of future changes to the operational status or availability of our generating units; the risks and uncertainties associated with litigation, arbitration, mediation and like proceedings, including, but not limited to, any such proceedings related to vendor commitments; replacement power costs being higher than anticipated or not fully hedged; the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; changes in customers' demand for power, including but not limited to, changes resulting from the implementation of state and federal energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic and financial goals including, but not limited to, the successful implementation of our transmission plan, the ability to reduce costs and to successfully complete our announced financial plans designed to improve our credit metrics and strengthen our balance sheet, including but not limited to, the benefits from our announced dividend reduction and our proposed capital raising and debt reduction initiatives, and the proposed sale of non-core hydro assets; our ability to improve electric commodity margins and the impact of, among other factors, the increased cost of fuel and fuel transportation on such margins; the ability to experience growth in the Regulated Distribution and Regulated Transmission segments and to continue to successfully implement our direct retail sales strategy in the Competitive Energy Services segment; changing market conditions that could affect the measurement of liabilities and the value of assets held in our Nuclear Decommissioning Trusts, pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause us and our subsidiaries to make additional contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger than currently anticipated; the impact of changes to material accounting policies; the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with our announced financial plan, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting us and our subsidiaries; actions that may be taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect us and our subsidiaries' access to financing, increase the costs thereof, and increase requirements to post additional collateral to support outstanding commodity positions, letters of credit and other financial guarantees; changes in national and regional economic conditions affecting us, our subsidiaries and our major industrial and commercial customers, and other counterparties including fuel suppliers, with which we do business; issues concerning the stability of domestic and foreign financial institutions and counterparties with which we do business; the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our United States Securities and Exchange Commission filings, and other similar factors. The foregoing review of factors should not be construed as exhaustive. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor assess the impact of any such factor on FirstEnergy's business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. FirstEnergy expressly disclaims any current intention to update, except as required by law, any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
For more information:
Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L)
300 Madison Ave
Morristown, New Jersey
United States, 07962
Tel: (973) 401-8097