Potomac Energy announces system upgrades in Eastern Panhandle - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

FirstEnergy subsidiaries announce system upgrades in WV

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First Energy subsidiaries Mon Power and Potomac Energy have announced system upgrades and improvements they plan for this year.

Mon Power said it plans toinvest more than $110 million in its system this year, an increase of $32million from last year.

Major projects scheduled forthis year include transmission improvements, building new distribution lines,replacing underground cables, inspecting and replacing equipment includingutility poles and ongoing tree trimming programs.

The scheduled projects include:

  • Investing $36 million to continue Mon Power's ongoing tree trimming program tohelp maintain proper clearances along nearly 4,000 miles of distribution andtransmission lines in the Beverly, Buckhannon, Chester, Clarksburg, Elkins,Fairmont, Huttonsville, Lewisburg, Morgantown, Wellsburg, Weirton and Westonareas.
  • Investing more than $33 million to support the expanding Marcellus shale gasindustry. Projects are in the Fairmont, Sistersville and Salem areas.
  • Investing more than $17 million to provide electrical service to new residentialand commercial customers in North-Central West Virginia, including Morgantown,Fairmont, Parkersburg and Weirton.
  • Upgradingand replacing equipment on distribution circuits throughout the serviceterritory at a cost of more than $3 million. The updates include installing newwire, cable and fuses.
  • Increasing capacity on the Collins Ferry-Osage 138,000-volt transmission lineat a cost of more than $5 million to help enhance both the line's performanceand the reliability of regional transmission system to benefit Mon Power customersin Monongalia County.
  • Inspecting 40,000 distribution poles and replacing about 250 poles at a cost ofmore than $2 million.
  • Investing approximately $1.8million to replace electrical equipment identified during routine inspectionsof the transmission system to enhance reliability throughout Mon Power'sservice area.

Potomac Energy, an operating company of FirstEnergy, has released its list of capital improvement project to strengthen the durability and flexibility of its electric utility system in Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

Overall, the company says it will spend more than $143 million this year on improvements in the two states. That's about $80 million more than the company spent last year. About $42 million of the $143 million will be for transmission-related projects built and owned by Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Company, a FirstEnergy transmission affiliate.

Most of the project announced Feb. 27 will be in Maryland, but several are in West Virginia. Those are:

  • Upgrading equipment on about 90 distribution circuits throughout the service area at a cost of about $4.4 million.  The enhancements – installing new wire, cable and fuses, as well as replacing aging equipment – are expected to enhance the electrical system and reliability for about 65,000 customers in Maryland and West Virginia.
  • Installing new equipment at the Corning Substation in Berkeley County to allow for load growth and help enhance reliability for existing customers in the Tabler and Inwood areas.
  • Dividing a large distribution circuit in the South Martinsburg area to prepare for load expansion in the fast-growing area of new residential and commercial construction.
  • Completing systematic repairs and replacing equipment on a 138-kV regional transmission line spanning Hardy and Mineral counties to help enhance regional reliability.
  • Inspecting and proactively replacing distribution and sub-transmission utility poles in the Potomac Edison service area. Approximately 24,000 utility poles will be inspected in 2014, with about 300 expected to be replaced.