As part of its ongoing efforts to help enhance service reliability, Mon Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., is installing new automated switching equipment on a 47-mi, 69-kV transmission line serving nearly 6,000 customers in the Marlinton and Snowshoe Mountain Resort areas of Pocahontas County, W.Va. The work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The $600,000 project will help sectionalize the transmission line into smaller segments. As a result, when needed, damaged areas can be isolated so fewer customers will experience an outage while crews work. New fault indicators also will be installed on the transmission line to help crews identify the location of problems, which can help speed the restoration process. In addition, contractors are trimming or removing trees along the entire length of the line that have the potential to cause outages.
"Last winter's heavy snows and high winds caused service disruptions to this remote, mountainous corner of our service territory," said Holly Kauffman, FirstEnergy's president of West Virginia Operations. "Our engineers are working closely with community and resort officials on this project, which should help lessen the impact severe weather has on our system and improve overall service reliability in this region.”
The project also includes the installation of automated relay equipment in a substation near Linwood that can be used to determine the approximate location of a fault, helping crews to narrow their search for damaged equipment and more quickly restore power. Similar equipment will be installed in a substation near Durbin in 2015.
The work is part of FirstEnergy's plans to invest approximately $153 million in 2014 on service reliability enhancements and infrastructure projects in the Mon Power area.
Mon Power serves about 385,000 customers in 34 West Virginia counties.