Wpp Ltiip Work 2023

FirstEnergy’s West Penn Power Invests $147 million To Upgrade Distribution System

Aug. 17, 2023
The upgrades include replacing utility poles and installing animal guards, fuses and other protective devices on power lines.

As part of its Long Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan II, FirstEnergy’s subsidiary West Penn Power is investing $147 million to upgrade its 31 mile electrical distribution system in Westmoreland County by replacing utility poles and installing animal guards, fuses and other protective devices on power lines, thereby helping prevent service interruptions during extreme weather conditions.

"Our crews are working on three projects designed to help reduce both the number and duration of power outages for a combined 4,800 customers," said Scott Wyman, president of FirstEnergy's Pennsylvania operations. "This work is part of more than $100 million invested since 2016 to accelerate improvements to the local electric system that powers homes and businesses across West Penn Power's service area."

The upgrades will fasten capital investments to the company's electric distribution system to help ensure continued electric service reliability for customers over five years. West Penn Power line crews are working at 70 locations along the power line serving nearly 1,800 customers in North Huntingdon Township in the areas of Guffey, Robbins Station Road and Clay Pike.

The crews will not only replace 18 wooden utility poles, raising the height of many by 5 feet to improve clearances and provide space to accommodate broadband cable or other future attachments and 47 crossarms but also install new wildlife guards to help prevent squirrels and other climbing animals from contacting transformers and disrupting electric service.

The project also includes installing 55 new fuses on the line to minimize the impact of outages caused by trees, vehicle accidents or equipment issues. The work is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2023.

In the north county, the crews are installing 53 new lightning-protection devices and 47 fuses on a 30 mile distribution line serving more than 1,300 customers in Murrysville. This project is anticipated to be completed by late August 2023.

The third project will replace 19 poles, 5 feet taller as compared to the existing poles to provide more clearance, along a 65-mile line in Salem Township serving about 1,700 customers in the areas of Congruity Road, Old Route 22, Route 819 and the Williamsburg and Monticello housing plans. This is expected to be completed by summer 2023.

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