WILLIAMSPORT, Md., Aug. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- To help enhance service reliability for customers, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) is continuing construction work this summer and throughout the remainder of 2016 on distribution and transmission infrastructure projects totaling approximately $128 million in Potomac Edison's service area in western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.
To date, more than $67 million of the total has been spent on a variety of projects, including transmission enhancements to reinforce the system and support economic growth, constructing new distribution circuits, and inspecting and replacing utility poles and underground cables.
"These infrastructure enhancements are necessary to serve the influx of new residents and businesses to our Potomac Edison service territory," said James A. Sears, Jr., vice president of Potomac Edison. "At the same time, we also are working on projects designed to help enhance the day-to-day service we provide our customers, such as replacing older underground cables and improving existing overhead facilities."
FirstEnergy projects underway or planned in the Potomac Edison footprint in 2016 include:
- Providing electrical service to the new Procter & Gamble consumer products manufacturing plant under construction in Berkeley County near Martinsburg, W.Va. About $4.6 million of the $9 million project is expected to be spent on work in 2016, which will include engineering and site preparation, and temporary service for construction activities such as producing concrete on location. The project is scheduled for completion in 2017, and will include a new transmission substation and several power lines.
- Replacing the wire on three transmission lines at a cost of about $7.4 million to reinforce the regional transmission system and benefit about 25,000 Potomac Edison customers in Jefferson County and 50,000 customers in Berkeley County.
- Upgrading equipment on about 287 distribution circuits throughout Potomac Edison's service area at an estimated cost of $3.1 million. The enhancements – installing new wire, cable and fuses – are expected to reinforce the electrical system and enhance reliability for nearly 398,000 customers in Maryland and West Virginia.
- Installing a new, one-mile distribution line in Clarksburg, Md., at an estimated cost of about $600,000 to provide additional capacity to serve residential and commercial customers located south of I-270 at Route 121 in Montgomery County.
- Replacing transformers at a distribution substation near Mt. Airy, Md. at a cost of about $2.5 million to provide greater capacity to serve more than 3,400 customers in the eastern end of Frederick County.
- Replacing a transformer at a distribution substation near Charles Town, W.Va. at a cost of about $1 million to enhance service reliability for about 2,200 customers in the Charles Town and Ranson areas.
- Replacing underground distribution cables with new equipment. Work totaling more than $1.5 million is continuing in all areas of the service territory, with a focus in Frederick and Montgomery counties Maryland.
- Spending $2.1 million to inspect and proactively replace distribution and sub-transmission utility poles in the Potomac Edison service area. Approximately 19,000 utility poles will be inspected in 2016, with about 140 expected to be replaced.
About $12 million of the budgeted total will be for transmission-related projects owned by the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Company (TrAILCo), a FirstEnergy transmission affiliate.
Potomac Edison serves about 260,000 customers in seven Maryland counties and 138,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Follow Potomac Edison on Twitter @PotomacEdison.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, while its generation subsidiaries control nearly 17,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro and other renewables. Visit FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and follow on Twitter at @FirstEnergyCorp.
Editor's Note: A photo of service reliability work being done in the Potomac Edison area is available for download on Flickr.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release includes forward-looking statements based on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. These statements include declarations regarding management's intents, beliefs and current expectations. These statements typically contain, but are not limited to, the terms "anticipate," "potential," "expect," "forecast," "target," "will," "intend," "believe," "project," "estimate," "plan" and similar words. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, which may include the following: the speed and nature of increased competition in the electric utility industry, in general, and the retail sales market in particular; the ability to experience growth in the Regulated Distribution and Regulated Transmission segments; the accomplishment of our regulatory and operational goals in connection with our transmission investment plan, including, but not limited to, the proposed transmission asset transfer to Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission, LLC, and the effectiveness of our strategy to reflect a more regulated business profile; changes in assumptions regarding economic conditions within our territories, assessment of the reliability of our transmission system, or the availability of capital or other resources supporting identified transmission investment opportunities; the impact of the regulatory process and resulting outcomes on the matters at the federal level and in the various states in which we do business including, but not limited to, matters related to rates and the Electric Security Plan IV; the impact of the federal regulatory process on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)-regulated entities and transactions, in particular FERC regulation of wholesale energy and capacity markets, including PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM) markets and FERC-jurisdictional wholesale transactions; FERC regulation of cost-of-service rates, including FERC Opinion No. 531's revised Return on Equity methodology for FERC-jurisdictional wholesale generation and transmission utility service; and FERC's compliance and enforcement activity, including compliance and enforcement activity related to North American Electric Reliability Corporation's mandatory reliability standards; the uncertainties of various cost recovery and cost allocation issues resulting from American Transmission Systems, Incorporated's realignment into PJM; economic or weather conditions affecting future sales and margins such as a polar vortex or other significant weather events, and all associated regulatory events or actions; changing energy, capacity and commodity market prices including, but not limited to, coal, natural gas and oil prices, and their availability and impact on margins and asset valuations, including without limitation impairments thereon; the risks and uncertainties at the CES segment, including FES, related to continued depressed wholesale energy and capacity markets, including the potential need to deactivate or sell additional generating units; the continued ability of our regulated utilities to recover their costs; costs being higher than anticipated and the success of our policies to control costs and to mitigate low energy, capacity and market prices; other legislative and regulatory changes, and revised environmental requirements, including, but not limited to, the effects of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, Coal Combustion Residuals regulations, Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and Mercury and Air Toxics Standards programs, including our estimated costs of compliance, Clean Water Act (CWA) waste water effluent limitations for power plants, and CWA 316(b) water intake regulation; the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures that may arise in connection with any litigation, including New Source Review litigation, or potential regulatory initiatives or rulemakings (including that such initiatives or rulemakings could result in our decision to deactivate or idle certain generating units); the uncertainties associated with the deactivation of certain older regulated and competitive fossil units, including the impact on vendor commitments, such as long-term fuel and transportation agreements, and as it relates to the reliability of the transmission grid, the timing thereof; the impact of other future changes to the operational status or availability of our generating units and any capacity performance charges associated with unit unavailability; adverse regulatory or legal decisions and outcomes with respect to our nuclear operations (including, but not limited to, the revocation or non-renewal of necessary licenses, approvals or operating permits by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or as a result of the incident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant); issues arising from the indications of cracking in the shield building at Davis-Besse; the risks and uncertainties associated with litigation, arbitration, mediation and like proceedings, including, but not limited to, any such proceedings related to vendor commitments, such as long-term fuel and transportation agreements; the impact of labor disruptions by our unionized workforce; replacement power costs being higher than anticipated or not fully hedged; the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; changes in customers' demand for power, including, but not limited to, changes resulting from the implementation of state and federal energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic and financial goals, including, but not limited to, the ability to continue to reduce costs and to successfully execute our financial plans designed to improve our credit metrics and strengthen our balance sheet through, among other actions, our cash flow improvement plan and other proposed capital raising initiatives; our ability to improve electric commodity margins and the impact of, among other factors, the increased cost of fuel and fuel transportation on such margins; changing market conditions that could affect the measurement of certain liabilities and the value of assets held in our Nuclear Decommissioning Trusts, pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause us and/or our subsidiaries to make additional contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger than currently anticipated; the impact of changes to material accounting policies; the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with our financial plans, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting us and our subsidiaries; actions that may be taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect us and/or our subsidiaries' access to financing, increase the costs thereof, and increase requirements to post additional collateral to support outstanding commodity positions, letters of credit and other financial guarantees; changes in national and regional economic conditions affecting us, our subsidiaries and/or our major industrial and commercial customers, and other counterparties with which we do business, including fuel suppliers; the impact of any changes in tax laws or regulations or adverse tax audit results or rulings; issues concerning the stability of domestic and foreign financial institutions and counterparties with which we do business; the risks associated with cyber-attacks and other disruptions to our information technology system that may compromise our generation, transmission and/or distribution services and data security breaches of sensitive data, intellectual property and proprietary or personally identifiable information regarding our business, employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, business partners and other individuals in our data centers and on our networks; and the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, and other similar factors. The foregoing factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements and risks that are included in our filings with the SEC, including but not limited to the most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor assess the impact of any such factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. FirstEnergy expressly disclaims any current intention to update, except as required by law, any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.