FirstEnergy Corp. is rebuilding and modernizing a 69-kilovolt (kV) transmission line to enhance service reliability for approximately 10,000 electric customers near Mansfield, Ohio. When completed this fall, the upgraded line will enhance the flow of electricity across the local system and use smart technologies to help reduce the frequency and duration of power outages.
The $16 million transmission project includes replacing the existing poles and wires with new wood poles capable of carrying new, higher-capacity conductor wires. Approximately 13 miles of wire will be installed on 223 new wood structures within the existing right-of-way. In addition, remote control switching devices and fiber optic cable will be added to allow grid operators to assess operational conditions more quickly. New equipment was also added to three local substations to handle the line's increased capacity and support growing electric demand. The line extends through communities west of Mansfield including Crestline Village and Galion, as well as Jackson, Polk, North Bloomfield and Sandusky townships.
"Upgrading this transmission line will help keep power flowing around the clock to homes and businesses in the area, with minimal impact on local property owners," said Randy Frame, regional president of Ohio Edison. "The new line and remote-control equipment will help strengthen and modernize the grid, and increase the flexibility and redundancy of our system."
Construction is now underway, with the line expected to be fully energized in the fall. No new rights-of-way are needed, and FirstEnergy is working closely with impacted landowners and local public officials to keep them informed about the project. Steps have been taken to help avoid any planned outages during the construction phase.
The project is part of Energizing the Future, a multi-year investment initiative aimed at upgrading FirstEnergy's transmission facilities with advanced equipment and technologies that will reinforce the power grid and help reduce the frequency and duration of customer outages. Since 2014, FirstEnergy has upgraded or replaced existing transmission lines, incorporated new, smart technology into the grid, and outfitted dozens of substations with new equipment and enhanced security features. These upgrades are producing reliability improvements across the company's transmission system. FirstEnergy will continue these investments through 2021, with planned spending of $4.2 to $5.8 billion over the next five years.