October 17, 2017 - 11:37 AM EDT
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Service Reliability Work Underway at Penn Power to Enhance Line and Substation Equipment

Projects Expected to Help Reduce Number and Duration of Power Outages

AKRON, Ohio, Oct. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Penn Power is completing work on approximately $15 million in power line and substation projects as part of a targeted 2017 program to reduce the number and duration of power outages experienced by the company's 160,000 customers. 

Penn Power Logo (PRNewsfoto/FirstEnergy Corp.)

The work involves installing enhanced protective devices on wires and poles, rebuilding electric lines, including replacing damaged insulators, poles, cross arms, and wire, and installing automated and remote-control devices.

The projects are part of Penn Power's 2016-2020 Long-Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan (LTIIP) approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.  This special program focuses on distribution infrastructure enhancement projects in the Penn Power service area, with a total of $62 million to be spent through 2020 on system improvements.

"These additional projects complement the maintenance work we already do each year to enhance the reliability of our electric system," said Randall A. Frame, president of Ohio Edison and Penn Power.  "This year, we have added two modular substations and are targeting work on rebuilding circuits and adding remote control devices that can help speed the restoration process when outages do occur."

The LTIIP projects underway in the Penn Power service area in 2017 include:

  • Investing about $3.1 million to build and connect a new substation near Jackson Center.  This project includes more than eight miles of new or rebuilt lines, which will add redundancy to the system.
  • Investing $2.6 million to build a new substation near New Castle along with 6.5 miles of new distribution lines.  The new substation will provide additional options for routing power on the local system.
  • Building a new 5.9-mile line between Pymatuning Central and Jamestown at a cost of $1.2 million.  This project will help reduce the frequency and length of service disruptions.
  • Replacing underground conductor in the Sturbridge residential development in Sewickley to help improve system reliability at a cost of more than $600,000.
  • Installing remote-controlled switches on higher-voltage distribution circuits at a cost of about $500,000, which will allow automatic and remote switching to help limit the number of customers affected when an outage occurs.  The new controls are engineered to shorten the duration of outages and to allow for large blocks of customers to be more quickly restored. 

Penn Power is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) and 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.

Editor's Note:  Photos of equipment being installed as part of Penn Power's Long-Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan are available for download on Flickr.

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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.

Source: PR Newswire (October 17, 2017 - 11:37 AM EDT)

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