FirstEnergy Corp. and its subsidiaries are rebuilding and modernizing an existing transmission line to enhance service reliability for Ohio Edison customers in Portage and Trumbull counties. When completed later this month, the upgraded line will reinforce the local electric system and use smart technologies to help reduce the frequency and duration of power outages.
The $26 million project involves replacing the existing 69-kilovolt (kV) line with a new set of poles and wires that will connect existing electric substations in Garrettsville and Newton Falls, Ohio. New switching devices that can be remotely monitored and controlled are being added to the line to allow grid operators to respond to operational conditions more quickly, which can prevent or reduce the duration of power outages.
New equipment will also be added to the two substations to handle the line's increased capacity and support growing electric demand. Construction is now underway, with the new line expected to be energized by the end of this year.
"By rebuilding and modernizing an existing line, we can enhance our ability to serve customers while minimizing the project's impact on local communities and the environment," said Randy Frame, regional president, Ohio Edison. "The new line and remote-control equipment will help strengthen and modernize the grid, and increase the flexibility and redundancy of our system."
The project is part of Energizing the Future, a multi-year investment initiative aimed at upgrading FirstEnergy's transmission facilities with advanced equipment and technologies that will reinforce the power grid and help reduce the frequency and duration of customer outages. Since 2014, FirstEnergy has upgraded or replaced existing transmission lines, incorporated new, smart technology into the grid, and outfitted dozens of substations with new equipment and enhanced security features. These upgrades are producing reliability improvements across the company's transmission system.