With the upcoming hot summer months expected to produce higher electric usage, Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) has completed numerous projects and inspections across its 13-county service area to enhance service reliability. The work included upgrading transmission and substation equipment, upgrading circuits and modernizing distribution equipment, and trimming trees along 1,500 miles of distribution and transmission lines.
"Targeting the completion of significant enhancements, upgrades and repairs each year prior to the start of the summer season provides a robust electrical system and delivers quality service," said James Fakult, president of JCP&L. "The projects we have completed increase the reliability and flexibility of our system as the summer season arrives and customers use more electricity."
Some of the JCP&L projects that have been completed include:
- Upgrading a 34.5 kilovolt line out of a substation in Wharton to increase transmission capacity in Morris County.
- Upgrading a 34.5 kilovolt line out of a substation in Phillipsburg to increase transmission capacity and provide additional system flexibility in Warren County.
- Installing a new 230 kilovolt transformer at a substation in West Amwell to increase transmission capacity and add resiliency in Hunterdon County.
- Upgrading 230 kilovolt circuit breakers at a substation in East Hanover to enhance transmission reliability in Morris County.
- Installing backup 230 kilovolt automatic switching devices at a substation in Red Bank to enhance transmission reliability in Monmouth County.
- Modernizing circuits in Lakewood by implementing automatic circuit switching to transfer customers to adjacent circuits and minimize outages.
- Installing a new 34.5 kilovolt line and switches at a substation in Toms River to increase transmission capacity in Ocean County.
- Completing 42 distribution circuit upgrades, including 15 in Sussex County, installing new wire, animal guards, lightning arrestors, fuses, crossarms, spacer cable brackets and switches to limit the frequency and duration of power outages.
Cost-effective helicopter patrols are completing inspections on more than 757 miles of transmission lines located in the JCP&L area. The inspections are designed to look for damaged wire, broken cross arms, failed insulators, and other hardware problems not easily detected from the ground. Any potential reliability issues identified during the inspection will be addressed immediately.
On the ground, the summer readiness inspections include using "thermovision" cameras to capture infrared images that can detect potential problems with JCP&L substation equipment such as transformers and capacitors. By identifying hot spots, maintenance and repairs can be conducted prior to a power outage occurring.
Inspections have also been completed on 88 circuits, 4,800 capacitors and nearly 1,200 recloser devices.
The completed projects are part of JCP&L's previously announced plans to spend about $267 million in 2015 on projects and other work to enhance and maintain a strong electrical system and help meet future load growth.