Ohio Edison to spend $275 million to boost transmission system reliability

Ohio Edison, a unit of FirstEnergy Corp., plans to spend about $275 million in 2013 is designed to further enhance electrical transmission and distribution (T&D) system reliability in its northern and central Ohio service areas.

Major projects scheduled for this year include completing three new substations, enhancing circuits and substations, inspecting and replacing utility poles, and ongoing vegetation management programs.

Ohio Edison’s 2013 reliability enhancements are expected to benefit customers throughout its service area. The scheduled projects include:

·      Completing two new modular substations to serve areas of growing load in Montville Township in southeast Medina County and Brimfield Township in western Portage County. The combined costs for these projects total almost $4 million. These facilities are expected to be in service prior to the start of this year’s hot, high electrical demand summer months.

·      Completing the new Black River Substation Project in Lorain. The new station is expected to provide support for system load growth in Lorain, including the new arc furnace load planned at Republic Steel. This project also includes removing transmission lines and an existing substation that ultimately will allow Lorain to develop key lakefront and riverfront property. Overall, the cost for this project is about $17 million.

·      Spending about $2 million improving circuit capacity and replacing wires to enhance system operation capabilities designed to help ensure reliable service for customers in Columbiana, Trumbull, Lorain and Medina counties.

·      Installing improved relays and computer control systems at substations in Akron, Canal Fulton, Cortland, Garrettsville, Medina, North Fairfield, Warren and Youngstown to aid remote monitoring and operations of these stations from Ohio Edison’s dispatch center in Akron. As part of the substation enhancements, animal guards will be installed, insulators and switches will be replaced, and breaker upgrades will be made to help reduce the frequency and duration of outages.

·      Spending more than $8.5 million inspecting and replacing distribution poles in the Ohio Edison service area. This inspection process is conducted on a 10-year cycle. About 58,000 utility poles will be inspected in 2013, with about 3,000 expected to be replaced.

·      Spending more than $20 million as part of Ohio Edison’s ongoing vegetation management program to trim trees and maintain proper clearances to help reduce tree-related outages. Some of the scheduled communities include Akron, Alliance, Delaware, Elyria, Fairlawn, Kent, Lorain, Mansfield, Massillon, Marion, Medina, Ravenna, Sandusky, Springfield, Warren and Youngstown. Overall, more than 6,200 miles of Ohio Edison distribution lines will be trimmed in 2013.

Ohio Edison serves more than 1 million customers across 36 Ohio counties.

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