Construction is underway on a new transmission substation in Ashland County, Ohio, owned by FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary American Transmission Systems, Inc., to meet the area's future energy demands and support economic growth. The work is also expected to help reduce the frequency and duration of power outages experienced by customers in the area.
The new infrastructure, which includes construction of two short, high-voltage lines along with the substation, will strengthen the transmission system and benefit customers in the region, including more than 22,000 Ohio Edison customers in Milton Township, Ashland and nearby communities.
"The new substation will act as a hub, tying in several adjacent transmission lines to provide increased flexibility and resiliency to our system," said Carl Bridenbaugh, FirstEnergy's vice president of Transmission. "These upgrades are designed to enhance service reliability for our customers now and also in the future as we continue to experience economic growth in the region."
As part of the US$ 11.6 million project, utility crews recently began laying the foundation and will begin to erect steel structures at the new 89,500-square-foot substation site in Milton Township this spring. In addition, crews will construct two short power lines to connect the new substation to existing 138 kV lines located nearby. Such ties offer a backup power feed that will help keep the lights on for customers if wires or equipment on their regular line are damaged or need to be taken out of service.
When complete, the new facility will tie in five high-voltage power lines that will channel power to local lines serving towns and communities. A steel monopole will be installed on each side of the substation to connect the new power lines to the facility.
The work underway in Ashland County began in September 2021 and is expected to be completed this August. Additional work completed in the area includes the installation of new automated technology and equipment to enhance service reliability for hundreds of residents and businesses.
The project is part of "Energizing the Future", a multi-year initiative designed to upgrade FirstEnergy's transmission system with advanced equipment and technologies that will reinforce the power grid and help reduce the frequency and duration of customer outages. Since launching the initiative in 2014, FirstEnergy has achieved a 50% reduction in equipment-related transmission outages across its Ohio service area, as well as the Penn Power and West Penn Power territories in western Pennsylvania.