FirstEnergy Corp. is continuing construction work this summer and throughout the remainder of 2016 on distribution and transmission infrastructure projects totaling approximately $237 million in The Illuminating Co.'s northeast Ohio territory to help enhance service reliability for customers.
To date, more than $131 million of the total has been spent on a variety of projects, including building a new substation and transmission line in Leroy Township in Lake County, along with rebuilding and upgrading circuits, and inspecting and replacing utility poles and other equipment.
In addition, recent infrastructure work completed by The Illuminating Co. and FirstEnergy in northeast Ohio helped the system provide uninterrupted power to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Even with high demand for electricity in downtown Cleveland and hot and humid weather, the electric system performed flawlessly throughout the event.
"We continually review and re-evaluate our system, looking for projects that can provide the greatest benefit to the greatest number of our customers," said John Skory, regional president of The Illuminating Company. "The work completed in previous years and infrastructure projects underway in 2016 are designed to benefit our customers by making our system the best it can be when it comes to providing safe and reliable electric service."
FirstEnergy projects completed, underway or planned in The Illuminating Company footprint in 2016 include:
- Installed voltage-regulating equipment in Eastlake at an expected cost of approximately $14.4 million. This equipment is part of the work being done by FirstEnergy to help maintain proper voltage levels on the transmission system as a result of power plants being deactivated in the region.
- Replacing underground circuits throughout the service area at a cost of approximately $7 million.
- Inspecting and replacing utility poles, as needed, at an expected cost of $6.2 million. This inspection process is conducted on a 10-year cycle. Since January, more than 33,500 poles have been inspected.
- Replacing transformers at substations in Cuyahoga Heights and Independence at a cost of about $1.1 million.
- Building a new modular substation in Brecksville at an expected cost of more $1 million to handle load growth in Brecksville and surrounding communities.
- Refurbishing manholes at a cost of approximately $570,000.
- Spending approximately $1.1 relocating electrical equipment as part of the Opportunity Corridor road project in Cleveland and the widening of Pleasant Valley Road in Cleveland, Brookpark and Parma.
More than $111 million of the budgeted total is expected to be spent on transmission-related projects owned by American Transmission Systems, Incorporated, a FirstEnergy transmission company.