WARREN, Ohio, Nov. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Ohio Edison, a FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) electric company, is completing modernization work in Trumbull County to help prevent power outages and restore service faster. The work includes installation of new, automated equipment and technology in substations and along power lines serving nearly 25,000 customers in parts of Warren, Niles, Girard, McDonald, Cortland and nearby areas.
"The work we're doing across the greater Warren area will provide new technology and backup power lines for thousands of our customers and reduce many power interruptions to just a brief or momentary outage," said Ed Shuttleworth, president of FirstEnergy's Ohio operations. "These upgrades will be particularly beneficial during severe weather events that often cause equipment damage that is out of our control."
Utility personnel are upgrading electrical equipment in five Trumbull County substations as well as modernizing the power lines that deliver electric service to customers from those facilities. Hundreds of homes and businesses in the area will benefit from the installation of nearly 60 new automated reclosing devices in the substations and along power lines to help limit the frequency, duration and scope of service interruptions.
These electrical devices work like a circuit breaker in a home that shuts off power when trouble occurs, with the added benefit of automatically reenergizing a substation or power line within seconds for certain types of outages to keep power safely flowing to customers. This technology is safer and more efficient because it often allows utility personnel to automatically restore service to customers rather than sending a crew to investigate.
If the device senses a more serious issue, like a fallen tree on electrical equipment, it will isolate the outage to that area and limit the total number of affected customers. The device's smart technology will quickly pinpoint the location of the fault and help utility personnel better understand the cause of the outage to help speed restoration.
To determine the best locations for these automated devices, utility personnel, in conjunction with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, reviewed outage patterns across Trumbull County and identified areas that would benefit from new technology.
Additional power lines that tie together existing circuits are also being constructed to provide more flexibility in restoring service following outages caused by events such as storms and vehicle accidents. The new power lines – designed to better withstand tree debris and severe weather – will help reduce the length and overall number of customers impacted during an outage by switching them to a backup line for faster service restoration.
Lastly, more than 30 capacitor banks are being installed to help ensure all customers served by a single power line receive the same flow of safe, reliable power by evenly distributing electricity down the line. These devices are expected to reduce energy usage for customers served near the beginning of a power line because they will benefit from lower power voltages being fed into their homes or businesses.
This year's work builds upon system upgrades that were completed last year in Trumbull County. As a result of the work, thousands of customers in rural areas of Kinsman, Farmdale, Fowler, Yankee Lake, Hartford, Burghill and West Farmington have seen their average restoration times improve by nearly an hour in more complex outage scenarios, such as equipment damage from severe weather or a vehicle accident.
Additional work is planned across the region as part of the company's three-year portfolio of grid modernization work that began last year.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, 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 approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
Editor's Note: Photos of Ohio Edison crews completing the grid modernization work are available for download on Flickr.