WILLIAMSPORT, Md., Jan. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), has completed two new distribution automation projects that will reduce service interruptions for nearly 6,500 customers in its Maryland service area.
The distribution automation projects will automatically switch customers to an adjacent power line in the event of certain outages. By tying customers to a second source of power, Potomac Edison will be able to help ensure the impact of power outages on customers is minimized.
The work was completed in the Brunswick and Cumberland areas and will benefit 6,483 customers along 101 circuit miles served by Potomac Edison. The two projects, which cost a combined $2.6 million, included the installation of nine automated reclosers, new line regulators for voltage support, and reconductoring and line construction in various places along the circuits. The Cumberland project will benefit 3,624 customers and was completed in September, and the Brunswick project, which will benefit 2,859 customers, was completed last month.
"These enhancements to our system will generate meaningful benefits by improving our service restoration capabilities and reducing the impact of severe weather events experienced by thousands of our customers," said James A. Sears, Jr., president of FirstEnergy's Maryland operations.
In 2019, Potomac Edison completed two automation projects in the Frederick and Cumberland areas that have reduced service interruptions for nearly 1,200 customers. The company is planning four additional automation projects that are expected to be completed over the next two years, including two scheduled for 2021 in the New Windsor and McHenry areas.
The distribution automation initiative is one of three reliability improvement programs currently scheduled to run through the end of 2022 and approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission in 2019. Potomac Edison is also replacing approximately 50 miles of underground electrical cable each year and is installing 15 new substation recloser replacements annually.
Potomac Edison serves about 270,000 customers in all or parts of Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery, and Washington counties. The company also serves about 145,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Follow Potomac Edison at www.potomacedison.com, on Twitter @PotomacEdison, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PotomacEdison.
FirstEnergy is 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 approximately 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.