FirstEnergy energizes 69-kV transmission line

FirstEnergy on March 10 said that it has energized a 69-kV transmission line project that will modernize the local power grid to meet the future needs of Ohio Edison customers in Ashland County, Ohio.

A company spokesperson told TransmissionHub on March 13 that the name of the project is the Mohican-Coulter 69-kV Rebuild Project.

The $7 million project involved removing an older transmission line and replacing it with a new set of wood poles capable of carrying new and higher capacity wires, FirstEnergy said, adding that crews installed nearly seven miles of wire on 127 new wooden structures within the existing right of way, reducing impact on affected property owners in Perrysville Village and Green Township in Ohio.

Remote control switching devices were also added to help prevent some outages from occurring, the company said, noting that if an outage does occur, the equipment can automatically pinpoint the location of a service disruption and limit the outage to only those customers where the damage occurred.

The project is part of FirstEnergy’s “Energizing the Future” initiative, which started in 2014, and includes $4.2 billion to $5.8 billion of investment in electric transmission infrastructure between 2017 and 2021, the company said.

As TransmissionHub reported, FirstEnergy President and CEO Charles Jones on Feb. 22 said that the company is on track for $1 billion in investments in its “Energizing the Future” initiative in 2017, with most of that investment “taking place where we have formula rates.”

Speaking during the company’s 4Q16 earnings call, Jones noted that this is the last year of FirstEnergy’s initial $4.2 billion investment in that initiative.

“In November, we announced the continuation of the program with $3.2 billion to $4.8 billion in transmission investments planned in 2018 through 2021,” he said. “We also announced our plan to issue up to $500 million of incremental equity annually in 2017 through 2019 to help fund these investments.”

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Corina Rivera-Linares, chief analyst for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 10 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at .

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