Met-Ed to spend $116 million in 2013 to enhance electric system reliability

Metropolitan Edison Co. (Met-Ed), a unit of FirstEnergy Corp., is spending about $116 million in 2013 to expand and strengthen its existing infrastructure in its 15-county service territory.

Major projects scheduled for this year include completing a new substation, building new circuits, replacing underground cables, inspecting and replacing utility poles and ongoing tree trimming and vegetation management programs. In addition, other projects will include the installation of automated and remote control devices designed to enhance Met-Ed’s electrical system and reliability.

Met-Ed’s 2013 reliability projects have both localized and widespread benefits to customers throughout its 3,500 square mile service area. The scheduled projects include:

·      Completing and energizing the Northkill Substation in northern Berks County, which will provide additional capacity in the area. The project, which is expected to cost nearly $10 million, is slated for completion this summer and is designed to support local industrial and commercial growth and future development.

·      Spending about $2 million in the York area to enhance the transmission system.

·      Installing new sectionalizing devices, such as fuses and reclosers, to help limit the scope of unplanned outages across the entire Met-Ed service territory. The cost of this project is about $1 million.

·      Installing equipment to help maintain proper voltage levels. This is expected to benefit Met-Ed’s industrial and large commercial customers that operate large motors, drives and other machinery.

·      Inspecting and replacing utility poles. This inspection process is conducted on a 12-year cycle. Inspections began in January, with replacement work scheduled to be completed throughout the fall.

·      Spending about $15 million as part of Met-Ed’s ongoing vegetation management program to trim trees and maintain proper clearances. Trees are the leading cause of power outages in Pennsylvania.

Met-Ed serves about 550,000 customers in 15 Pennsylvania counties.

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