Having spent more than $2 billion in capital improvements since 2001, Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) plans to spend an additional $251 million in 2014 to further expand and strengthen its infrastructure to enhance and maintain service reliability throughout its 13 county service area. This represents about a $50 million increase compared to what the company spent on reliability infrastructure in the region last year.
Major projects scheduled for this year include completing and planning the construction of transmission lines in Monmouth, Ocean and Morris counties, completing a smart grid modernization project in Morris County and constructing a new substation in Hunterdon County. The company is also scheduled to upgrade 118 circuits, add new circuits, inspect and replace utility poles and perform tree trimming work on more than 3,400 mi of distribution and transmission lines.
"We review planning and analysis data each year and dedicate the necessary resources to continually improve our system to exceed customer expectations and deliver the quality service our customers expect and deserve," said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L. "The 2014 infrastructure spend includes projects to implement new technologies, further improve reliability and prepare for future growth."
JCP&L's 2014 planned system expenditures include:
- Upgrading more than 118 distribution circuits at a cost of nearly $6 million in a variety of communities to enhance service reliability. The improvements – adding animal guards, spacer cable, fuses, reclosers and adding new wire – are expected to reduce outages on distribution circuits that serve 184,000 customers in northern and central New Jersey.
- Initiating a Department of Energy $7 million smart grid technology modernization project on three circuits serving Bernards Township, Harding Township and Morristown.
- Implementing additional recloser technologies to allow the automatic transfer of customers to other circuits to minimize outage impacts and reduce restoration times.
- Inspecting 233 circuits starting at substations to proactively identify and replace equipment.
- Replacing underground distribution cables.
- Performing infrared scans on 300 circuits to detect equipment in need of replacement and proactively perform work.
- Inspecting and proactively replacing, if needed, more than 34,000 utility poles.
- Performing tree trimming work on 3,400 miles of line.
JCP&L also will continue its Energizing the Future transmission system enhancement program with work scheduled on projects totaling about $150 million in northern and central New Jersey including:
- Completing the new 115 kV line between the Englishtown substation in Manalapan and the Wyckoff substation in Hightstown. The $23 million project also includes the addition of four 115-kV breakers within the substation.
- Completing construction on a new $10 million substation in West Amwell to provide flexibility and enhance reliability in Hunterdon County and the Hopewell area of Mercer County.
- Installing equipment to upgrade the Manalapan substation in Monmouth County including a new transformer, a new 230-kV breaker and constructing two new distribution circuits.
- Planning and designing a new $13.5 million, 34.5-kV line between the Montville and Riverdale substations in Morris County to support future load growth.
- Planning and designing a new $19 million, 230-kV line between the Whippany and Montville substations to support future load growth and enhance reliability.
- Planning and designing a new $53 million, 230-kV line between the Oceanview substation in Neptune and the Larabee substation in Howell.
JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. serving 1.1 million New Jersey customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.