First Energy2

Penelec Completing Upgrades to Electric System in Central Pennsylvania

May 18, 2023
The project aims to prevent or minimize the length of service disruptions.

Penelec, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., is completing work to enhance its energy delivery system in Blair and Huntingdon counties to help prevent or minimize the length of service disruptions, particularly during severe weather. The project includes replacing about 50 wood poles, crossarms, fuses, lightning protection devices and other equipment on a power line that delivers electricity to more than 1,100 customers in Birmingham, Warriors Mark Township, Tyrone Township and Sinking Valley.

The project is part of Penelec's Long Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan (LTIIP II), a $200 million initiative to accelerate capital investments to the company's electric distribution system over five years and help ensure continued electric service reliability for customers.

"Over time, severe weather can take a toll on exposed electrical infrastructure, and this project allows us to proactively address equipment that has served us well for many years but was in need of an update," said Scott Wyman, president of FirstEnergy's Pennsylvania operations. "Utility poles are the backbone of the distribution system, and this work should enhance the reliability of electric service for our customers in these rural communities for years to come."

Penelec crews from Clearfield, Johnstown and Somerset are working cooperatively to rehabilitate this power line. They started the work in February, and it is expected to be completed in June.

As part of the project, crews are replacing one pole, 12 crossarms, 15 fuses and 12 devices that protect the wire from lightning strikes along a 34.5-kV line that starts at an electric substation near the Grier School in Birmingham and heads northwest along Route 453 where it meets Pennington Road. Crews are working to replace 26 poles, 26 crossarms, numerous fuses and insulators along Pennington Road to Warriors Mark and then for several more miles along Ridge Road on a lower-voltage section of the line.

Additionally, crews have replaced 17 poles on a different spur of the same line running from the substation in Birmingham northwest through woods toward Ironville and continuing in the area of State Route 1015 through Sinking Valley. The remaining six poles to be set are located in fields near Elk Run and will require a track digger machine that can navigate hard-to-access spots to erect poles.

The Warriors Mark-Franklin Volunteer Fire Department allowed Penelec to stage material on its property, providing convenient access to the various work locations.

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