WILLIAMSPORT, Md., April 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), is installing new conductors on three 138,000-volt transmission lines in Jefferson County, West Virginia, and neighboring Clarke County, Virginia. The $6 million project is expected to increase the electrical capacity of the lines, enhance service reliability to existing customers and help handle future electrical load growth in the area.
The project is scheduled to be completed in three phases, with all the work occurring on existing right-of-way. The new, enhanced wire that is being installed is similar in diameter to the existing conductor, but is able to transport more electricity.
"This work is designed to upgrade existing Potomac Edison facilities and benefit about 26,000 customers in Jefferson County, a fast-growing region of our Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia service area, without needing to acquire additional easements to build new sections of line," said James A. Sears, Jr., vice president of Potomac Edison.
The initial phase of the project is underway and involves replacing about 14 miles of conductor between the Millville Substation near Charles Town, West Virginia, and Old Chapel Substation near Berryville in Clarke County, Virginia. Construction crews also are replacing about 40 existing wooden structures as part of the project. This section of the project is expected to be completed and in-service by June 1.
The next phase will be the installation of a new conductor on another transmission line from Stephenson Substation near Clear Brook, Virginia, running two miles north to Stonewall Substation near the border of Virginia and West Virginia. The work on this section is expected to start in early September and be completed by mid-October.
The final phase involves reconductoring about three miles of transmission line between Bartonville Substation just north of Winchester, Virginia, and Stephenson Substation near Clear Brook, Virginia. The work is scheduled to start in mid-October and is expected to be completed by December 31.
The transmission line upgrades are part of FirstEnergy's previously announced plan to invest more than $128 million in 2015 on distribution and transmission infrastructure projects to enhance service reliability in Potomac Edison's service area in western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. About $22 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 more than 257,000 customers in seven Maryland counties and more than 137,000 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. Visit FirstEnergy on the web at www.firstenergycorp.com, and follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
Editor's Note: Photos of the Potomac Edison reconductoring work are available for download on Flickr.
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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.