As part of its ongoing efforts to enhance its electric system, FirstEnergy Corp. invested approximately $450 million in 2015 on Ohio Edison reliability projects and other work, including building new transmission lines, new substations, and installing remote-control equipment to help reduce the number and duration of power outages.
"The infrastructure projects we completed in 2015 and in previous years are making a difference when it comes to making our system more robust," said Randall A. Frame, regional president, Ohio Edison. "In 2015, Ohio Edison customers overall averaged less than one outage for the year, and when an interruption did occur the average time to restore power was shorter than the previous year."
Some of the key FirstEnergy projects in Ohio Edison's northeast and central Ohio service area in 2015 included:
- Completing a new 114-mile, 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line from FirstEnergy's Bruce Mansfield Power Plant on the Ohio River to a new substation near Cleveland to help enhance system reliability as a result of power plants being deactivated in the region due to environmental regulations. Overall, the cost of the multi-year project for Ohio Edison was approximately $226 million, with nearly $81 million being spent in 2015.
- Spending about $3.6 million to build a modular substation in Brunswick and about $1.4 million was spent in 2015 to complete a similar substation in Akron.
- Completing a new transmission substation in the Massillon area. The total cost of the multi-year project was approximately $38 million, with about $5.7 million spent in 2015.
- Constructing a new 69-kV transmission line in the Berlin Lake area at an estimated cost of $2.8 million.
- Replacing wire on a 138-kV transmission line that runs between substations in Akron and Barberton at a cost of $1.7 million.
- Installing remote-control equipment and circuit breaker upgrades at various substations throughout the Ohio Edison area at an estimated cost of $3.9 million to help reduce the number and duration of power outages customers might experience.
- Inspecting 58,000 utility poles in the Ohio Edison area at a cost of more than $5.7 million. More than 2,100 were replaced or reinforced, as needed.
About $305 million of the total was spent on transmission-related projects owned by American Transmission Systems, Incorporated, a FirstEnergy transmission company.
Planning is continuing for additional projects that are expected to be completed in 2016, including new substations, transmission lines and circuit upgrades.
Ohio Edison also began using two new apps in 2015 to more efficiently assess damage to the electrical system and dispatch crews to make repairs in the wake of major storm events. Employees in the field can use this new mobile device technology to automatically enter damage information into the company's outage management system which helps restore the most customers to service in the shortest amount of time.