Metropolitan Edison (FirstEnergy) recently completed work on approximately $7.5 million of electric system projects as part of its 2016 Long-Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan to reduce the number and duration of service interruptions experienced by the company's 560,000 customers.
Met-Ed's Long-Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan was approved earlier this year by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. This five-year, $43-million program will target distribution infrastructure projects to enhance service reliability in the Met-Ed area through 2020.
[Editor’s note: Met-Ed’s total distribution system plant in service value was $2.06 billion in 2015, according to the latest-available full year data from FERC Form 1, and the same data shows the company added $88 million to its distribution plant in service in 2015. Associated distribution system O&M costs, per FERC Form 1, were $39.6 million in 2015 and $51.4 million in 2014.]
Projects completed this year in the Met-Ed service area include:
- Replacement of more than 1,600 porcelain protective switches on poles and wires with new polymer devices. The switches – known as "cutouts" – automatically open up when a system irregularity is detected, serving to protect the electrical equipment and limit the number of customers affected by an outage. In 2016, protective switches were replaced on six circuits primarily in Boyertown, Reading, Easton and York.
- Addition of new connection points where circuits come together, along with installing new devices, such as fuses and automated switches, to help limit the number of customers affected when an outage occurs. The work is designed to enhance reliability for Met-Ed customers in the Boyertown area.
- Installation of radio-controlled switches on electric circuits. These devices can be operated remotely from the company dispatch center, allowing operators to restore power more quickly and efficiently than dispatching a crew to investigate. Met-Ed is completing this work at almost 70 locations throughout its service area.
- Completion of a major line upgrade project in the Stroudsburg area. This work included installing news poles, wire, and other equipment as needed. In addition, cable was replaced on another circuit in the Stroudsburg area to enhance circuit performance.
- Replacement of 4,300 feet of cable in a Reading-area underground development.
- Installation of more than 1,000 new fuses on 91 circuits throughout Met-Ed's service area.
In 2017, Met-Ed is expected to spend an additional $9 million on similar Long-Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan projects. The original press release is at this link.