Jersey Central Power & Light plans to spend about $267 million in 2015 on projects and other work to enhance and maintain a strong electrical system and help meet future load growth in its 13-county New Jersey service area.
Major projects scheduled for this year include the completion of a new transmission line in Middlesex County, the expansion of a substation in Hunterdon County, and upgrades to a substation in Morris County. In addition, JCP&L has scheduled enhancements for 94 circuits, including the installation of remote-controlled equipment to reduce the duration of outages. Utility poles also will be inspected and replaced, as needed, and tree trimming will be completed on more than 3,300 miles of distribution and transmission lines.
"Each year we carefully review and rigorously plan transmission and distribution projects that will enhance service to our customers," said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L. "Our work is making a difference. In 2014 we had 17 percent fewer outages than the previous year, which we can largely attribute to the infrastructure work that has been done to help maintain the strength of our system."
JCP&L's 2015 planned system expenditures include:
- Upgrading more than 90 distribution circuits at a cost of nearly $6 million in a number of communities to enhance service reliability. The improvements – adding animal guards, spacer cable, fuses and new wire – are expected to reduce outages on distribution circuits that serve 180,000 customers in northern and central New Jersey.
- Performing tree trimming work on more than 3,300 miles of power lines at a cost of approximately $24 million.
- Redesigning circuits so the load they carry can be transferred to an adjacent circuit to help restore customers sooner if an outage occurs.
- Adding remote-controlled equipment so circuits can be automatically reset during power outages.
- Performing infrared scans on more than 280 circuits to determine condition of equipment and proactively making repairs, as needed.
- Inspecting 283 circuits from substation to substation to proactively identify potential service issues and replace equipment, as needed.
- Replacing more than 100,000 feet of underground distribution cables.
- Inspecting and proactively replacing, if needed, more than 28,000 utility poles.
JCP&L also will continue implementing its Energizing the Future transmission system enhancement program to help meet future load growth in the region. Transmission projects for 2015 include:
- Continuing the planning and design of a new 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line in Monmouth County between substations in Neptune and Howell. The project is expected to cost nearly $82 million and includes adding four new circuit breakers at the substation in Howell.
- Continuing a $10 million expansion of a substation in West Amwell, Hunterdon County, which includes the installation of a massive new 230 kV transformer.
- Beginning a $36 million project to install voltage regulating equipment at a substation in Morris County to enhance power quality.
- Completing construction of a new $7 million, 115 kV power line at a substation in Old Bridge in Middlesex County.
- Constructing a new $1.8 million, 34.5 kV power line connecting substations in Hunterdon County.
- Upgrading a 34.5 kV line that runs from a substation in Bernards Township, Somerset County, to a substation in Long Hill Township, Morris County.
- Completing engineering and design work for a $3 million upgrade at a substation in Morris County that will include a new 230 kV transformer.