JCP&L Completed More Than 160 Infrastructure Projects in 2014 to Help Enhance Service Reliability

Jan 07, 2015, 14:45 ET from FirstEnergy Corp.

MORRISTOWN, N.J., Jan. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) completed more than 160 infrastructure projects and other work in 2014 to help enhance service reliability to its 1.1 million customers in northern and central New Jersey.

"About $250 million was budgeted in 2014 for these projects that help enhance day-to-day service reliability for our customers along with maintaining our system's capability to handle future load growth," said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L.  "When measuring the average outage duration for customers for 2014, our results show a 17 percent improvement compared to 2013 results, which we can largely attribute to the infrastructure work that has been done this year, and in previous years, to make our system more robust."

Some of the key JCP&L projects in 2014 included:

  • Completing a $15 million expansion of a substation in Monmouth County, which included adding a new transformer, circuit breaker and control building.  The project also provides greater redundancy to benefit 170,000 customers in the county by connecting with existing substations in Red Bank and Tinton Falls.
  • Completing the installation of a new circuit breaker and transformer at a substation in Manalapan in Monmouth County at a cost of $1.2 million.  The project also included adding two new distribution circuits.
  • Completing a $2 million installation of circuit breakers at a substation in Burlington County to provide greater operational flexibility and resiliency for the local and regional transmission network. 
  • Completing more than $2 million of upgrades, including adding new circuit breakers, at a substation in Raritan River in Middlesex County.
  • Starting construction of a $10 million expansion of a substation in West Amwell in Hunterdon County.  The project will include a new half-mile transmission line loop to connect the expanded substation with a nearby 230-kilovolt transmission line.
  • Completing nearly $6 million of upgrades on 118 distribution circuits across the JCP&L service area.  The work included installing more resilient fuses, adding larger cross-arms to increase wire clearance and installing fault indicators to help identify problem areas on a circuit to help expedite the restoration process if an outage occurs.
  • Completing upgrades totaling $2.75 million at a substation in Hightstown in Mercer County.  The project included installing a new 115 kilovolt circuit breaker for a transmission line that will run from Englishtown to Wyckoff.
  • Completing installation of equipment in Hunterdon, Monmouth, Morris and Sussex counties that automatically transfers customers to adjacent circuits in the event of an outage.
  • Trimming trees to maintain proper clearances along nearly 3,400 miles of power lines at a cost of approximately $24 million.

Service reliability projects planned for in 2015 include new substations, transmission lines and circuit upgrades. 

In 2014, JCP&L made it easier for customers to check the progress of service restoration efforts when they experience a power outage.  The company's 24/7 Power Center outage maps now display the status of crews restoring service after a power outage.  With this enhancement, JCP&L customers can see when crews have been dispatched, when they are working on a repair, and when additional crews or equipment are needed to complete restoration work. 

JCP&L customers also can subscribe to email and text message alert notifications to receive billing reminders, weather alerts in advance of major storms, and updates on scheduled or extended power outages.  Customers can also use two-way text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their electric accounts. 

As part of its storm restoration process, in 2014 JCP&L rolled out two new apps that employees can use on mobile devices to automatically enter damage information into the company's outage management system.  The new hazard app on company smart phones allows responders in the field to electronically document hazardous situations.  Once the hazard assessment is complete, repair crews can use the new damage assessment app on company mobile computers to develop an itemized list of materials and equipment that will be needed to make repairs at damage locations.  The app uses a highly detailed map showing JCP&L's circuits.

JCP&L, a FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) subsidiary, serves 1.1 million New Jersey customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.  Follow JCP&L on Twitter @JCP_L, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL or online at www.jcp-l.com.

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.  Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.

Editor's Note:  Photos of several of the JCP&L infrastructure projects that were completed in 2014 are available for download on Flickr.

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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 and to successfully implement our revised sales strategy in the Competitive Energy Services segment; the accomplishment of our regulatory and operational goals in connection with our transmission plan and pending distribution rate cases and the effectiveness of our repositioning strategy; the impact of the regulatory process on pending matters in the various states in which we do business including, but not limited to, matters related to rates and pending rate cases, and the Electric Security Plan IV in Ohio; 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the uncertainties associated with the deactivation of certain older regulated and competitive fossil units, including the impact on vendor commitments, and the timing thereof as they relate to, among other things, Reliability Must Run arrangements and the reliability of the transmission grid; the impact of other future changes to the operational status or availability of our generating units; 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; replacement power costs being higher than anticipated or not fully hedged; 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