$128 Million to be Spent in 2017 in Penn Power Service Area to Strengthen Electric System Company's Investment in Infrastructure Projects Designed to Help Reduce Number and Duration of Outages
As part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen the durability and flexibility of its electric system, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) expects to invest about $128 million on distribution and transmission projects to enhance reliability for customers in the Pennsylvania Power's (Penn Power) western Pennsylvania service area.
Major projects scheduled for 2017 include rebuilding transmission lines, adding transformers, breakers and capacitors to substations, enhancing security at substations, dividing power lines into smaller segments to reduce the number of customers affected when an outage occurs, and the inspection and replacement of utility poles.
"We are seeing continued dividends from the investments we have made to our system over the years," said Randall A. Frame, regional president of Ohio Edison, which owns Penn Power. "Our goal is to pursue transmission and distribution projects that not only enhance service to our existing customers, but also prepare our system to accommodate future economic growth,"
Projects scheduled in the Penn Power footprint in 2017 include:
- Rebuilding more than 17 miles of a 69 kilovolt (kV) transmission line connecting substations in New Castle and Slippery Rock to enhance service reliability for customers in Lawrence and Butler counties. The nearly $20 million project is expected to be completed by August.
- Rebuilding 38 miles of a 69-kV transmission connecting substations in New Castle and Ellwood City to enhance service reliability for customers in Beaver and Lawrence counties at a cost of nearly $12 million.
- Replacing capacitor banks, transformers, breakers and relays and other equipment in the Hoytdale, Shenango, Beaver Valley, Warrendale and Harlan substations at a cost of more than $8 million.
- Upgrading an existing 7.5-mile 69-kV transmission line connecting substations in Butler and Mercer counties to support 138 kV operation. Approximately $4 million is expected to be spent this year on the project.
- Building a new modular substation in Stoneboro and rebuilding more than 8 miles of a nearby distribution line at a cost of $5 million.
- Building a new modular substation in New Castle at a cost of $1.7 million.
- Installing enhanced security features at several substations at a cost of almost $2 million.
- Replacing a transformer at a substation in Sharon at a cost of about $1.3 million.
- Rebuilding nearly six miles of circuit in the Jamestown area at a cost of $2.3 million.
- Dividing power lines into smaller segments at a cost of approximately $1 million to help reduce the number of customers affected when an outage occurs.
- Spending nearly $650,000 inspecting and replacing distribution poles, as needed, in Penn Power's service area.
About $77 million of the total spend will be for transmission projects owned by American Transmission Systems, Incorporated, a FirstEnergy transmission affiliate.
In 2016, FirstEnergy spent about $125 million in the Penn Power area on large and small transmission and distribution projects, including adding equipment to substations, rebuilding power lines, installing voltage-regulating equipment and automated controls, and replacing poles.
Penn Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., serves more than 160,000 customers in all or parts of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Lawrence, and Mercer counties in western Pennsylvania. Follow Penn Power on Twitter @Penn Power, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennPower, and online at www.pennpower.com.
FirstEnergy is 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. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
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(PJM) markets and FERC-jurisdictional wholesale transactions; FERC regulation of cost-of-service rates; and FERC's compliance and enforcement activity, including compliance and enforcement activity related to North American Electric Reliability Corporation's mandatory reliability standards; the uncertainties of various cost recovery and cost allocation issues resulting from American Transmission Systems, Incorporated's realignment into PJM; the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; other legislative and regulatory changes, and revised environmental requirements, including, but not limited to, the effects of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, Coal Combustion Residuals regulations, Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and Mercury and Air Toxics Standards programs, including our estimated costs of compliance, Clean Water Act (CWA) waste water effluent limitations for power plants, and CWA 316(b) water intake regulation; 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; changing market conditions that could affect the measurement of certain liabilities and the value of assets held in our Nuclear Decommissioning Trusts, pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause us and/or our subsidiaries to make additional contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger than currently anticipated; the impact of changes to significant accounting policies; the impact of any changes in tax laws or regulations or adverse tax audit results or rulings; the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with our financial plans, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting us and our subsidiaries; further actions that may be taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect us and/or our subsidiaries' access to financing, increase the costs thereof, increase requirements to post additional collateral to support, or accelerate payments under outstanding commodity positions, letters of credit and other financial guarantees, and the impact of these events on the financial condition and liquidity of FirstEnergy and/or its subsidiaries, specifically the subsidiaries within the CES segment; issues concerning the stability of domestic and foreign financial institutions and counterparties with which we do business; and the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, and other similar factors. 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