WILLIAMSPORT, Md., March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), has completed significant substation upgrades and a new electric line interconnecting several substations in eastern Frederick County, Maryland, to enhance service reliability for about 5,400 customers in a high-growth residential and commercial corridor.
"We recognize the importance of enhancing our electrical infrastructure for our customers, and this reliability project was one of our top priorities," said James A. Sears, Jr., president of FirstEnergy's Maryland Operations and vice president of Potomac Edison. "The upgraded electrical network should better serve our current customers in eastern Frederick, southwestern Carroll and western Howard counties, and accommodate future growth in an area quickly transitioning from farms and rural villages to bedroom communities of Baltimore and Washington, D.C."
The $6 million project includes a new 34.5-kilovolt (kV) power line linking substations in the New Market, Monrovia and Mount Airy areas and a massive new transformer in the substation near New Market.
The 4.5-mile line was built from the New Market substation on new and existing wooden utility poles to a substation near Monrovia and is designed to add redundancy to the system. A unique aspect of the project is that a section of the line runs underground for nearly a mile where it passes beneath Interstate 70 near Route 75 at New Market.
The project also features automated equipment that can detect faults such as fallen tree branches that cause power outages and immediately switch customers to an alternate source of electricity to help keep their lights on. In addition, specialized "smart" communications equipment also was installed in the substations to remotely monitor operations.
Potomac Edison serves about 250,000 customers in seven Maryland counties and 132,000 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. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
Editor's Note: Photos of Potomac Edison's new electric line and substation improvements in Frederick County, Maryland, are available for download on Flickr.
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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.