FirstEnergy is expanding a substation in Wampum, Pa., to accommodate new equipment designed to reinforce the regional electric system and enhance service reliability for Pennsylvania Power utility customers.
The $48 million project includes the installation of specialized voltage-regulating equipment that is designed to respond to real-time electrical conditions, boosting or reducing voltage as needed to maintain consistent levels on the regional transmission network. The substation work also includes installing capacitor banks, circuit breakers, transformers, communications equipment and a small control building. The work at the Hoytdale substation is expected to be completed by early June.
"Adding this equipment is just one of the things we do to maintain a reliable flow of power from one substation to another," said Randall A. Frame, regional president of Ohio Edison and Penn Power. "With many of our customers using specialized equipment that is sensitive to voltage fluctuations, our new equipment is a cost-effective option to help maintain consistent voltage levels and enhance reliability throughout our system."
As part of the construction process, more than 80,000 cubic yards of rock were removed from a football-field-sized piece of land adjacent to the existing Hoytdale substation where the new voltage equipment is being installed.
This voltage-control project is part of FirstEnergy's $4.2 billion "Energizing the Future" transmission initiative, which is designed to upgrade and enhance the company's high-voltage transmission system to make service more reliable and help modernize the transmission grid.
The substation and its new equipment is owned by American Transmission Systems, Incorporated, a FirstEnergy transmission company.