The Illuminating Company, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., is enhancing its underground power system in eastern Cuyahoga County with a cable upgrade that will help boost service reliability for area customers. This work complements more than $15 million in upgrades to the company's underground system over the past five years to benefit nearly 536,000 customers in Cuyahoga County.
The Illuminating Company maintains 11,000 miles of underground wire across the region. This year, nearly 1.5 miles of older, uncoated underground lines in Pepper Pike will be replaced with new power lines coated in a thick shell to make them more durable against elements like dirt, rocks, lightning and water. Since work began in 2015 to harden the system, the company has replaced more than 100 miles of underground lines that served customers well for many years but were ready for an upgrade.
"This work demonstrates our commitment to hardening our system against power outages so we can keep power flowing to our customers," said Pat Mullin, acting president of FirstEnergy's Ohio operations. "We operate one of the nation's largest underground electric systems, and these upgrades allow us to continue providing safe, dependable and affordable power to our customers."
To determine the best locations for the underground upgrades, utility personnel reviewed outage patterns across The Illuminating Company's service territory and identified areas that would most benefit. The work in Pepper Pike is expected to be completed by the end of this year and will benefit about 3,000 customers.
The Illuminating Company serves more than 750,000 customers across Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties.