Penelec Backhoe Trenching

Penelec’s Underground Cable Replacement Project to Help Enhance Electric Service

Feb. 28, 2023
The upgrade is part of Penelec's Long Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan, a $200 million initiative to accelerate capital investments to the company's electric distribution system over five years and help ensure continued electric service rel
Penelec, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., has begun a significant project to install new underground electric cable to enhance service reliability for more than 5,000 residents and several businesses in Treasure Lake, a residential community just north of DuBois, Pennsylvania, in Clearfield County.

The upgrade 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, water and corrosive soil materials can penetrate underground wire through tiny cracks and fissures, which can cause power outages," said Scott Wyman, president of FirstEnergy's Pennsylvania operations. "Our crews have repaired the underground cable in this development a number of times since its installation in the 1970s, and the time is right to replace it. We are encasing the new cable in plastic conduit to protect it from contact with the soil and to help ensure it provides reliable electric service to Treasure Lake for decades to come."

Crews are burying the new line and conduit adjacent to the original cable on the grassy traffic island that divides Coral Reef Road, the main thoroughfare into the community. Much of the work involves trenching, but crews will use horizontal boring technology to excavate beneath sensitive areas, such as paved areas around the Treasure Lake business plaza and spots where the golf cart path crosses the Coral Reef Road traffic divider.

Split into two phases, the project includes the installation of underground electric cable for 1.6 miles. Crews will also install sectionalizing equipment that functions like fuses to isolate damage during service interruptions and add access boxes to quickly reach the wire if repairs are necessary.

Crews started work in mid-January on the northern half of the project, which consists of installing cable 4,200 feet from Treasure Lake Plaza on Coral Reef Road to Bay Road. Weather permitting, that section should be completed and energized in mid-March.

The second phase to install cable 4,500 feet from the business plaza south on Coral Reef Road to the main entrance of the 2,200-home development will begin next and should be finished in early spring, contingent on favorable weather.

Penelec serves approximately 585,000 customers within 17,600 square miles of northern and central Pennsylvania. Follow Penelec on Twitter @Penelec and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PenelecElectric.

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