Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., has completed equipment upgrades at a substation in Reading to enhance service reliability and help meet growing demand for electricity for about 2,500 customers in the Glenside area of the city.
The centerpiece of the $3 million project was replacing a transformer and other equipment in the substation, which originally was constructed in 1940. Substation transformers enable higher transmission voltages to be changed to lower levels that can be used by customers to power electrical devices. As an added benefit, the refurbishment was designed to increase the local electric system's capacity without having to expand the substation's footprint or build new power lines.
The upgrade included new circuit breakers and relay devices, which automatically interrupt the flow of electricity to protect equipment from events such as tree-related outages or lightning strikes. Met-Ed dispatchers can now remotely monitor conditions at the substation, and if needed, reset the devices automatically to help reduce the duration and number of customers affected if an outage occurs. This remote-control capability was not available at the time the substation was originally built.
"Refurbishing this substation will help position our system to better meet the electrical growth that has occurred in the Glenside area of Reading during the past 50 years," said Ed Shuttleworth, regional president of Met-Ed. "The planning work for this project began late last year and construction has been completed in a timely and efficient manner to help us deliver the safe and reliable electric service our customers have come to expect."