BRECKSVILLE, Ohio, June 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Illuminating Company, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), plans to spend $4 million in 2020 to continue enhancing its underground power system in the Greater Cleveland area. Over the past five years, the company has invested more than $15 million in upgrades to its underground system to support service reliability for nearly 536,000 of its customers in Cuyahoga County.
The Illuminating Company maintains 11,000 miles of underground wire across the region. The company plans to upgrade approximately eight miles of underground lines in Strongsville and 15 miles across the Cleveland area in 2020. Older, uncoated underground lines will be replaced with new power lines coated in a thick shell to make them more durable against elements like dirt, rocks, lightning and water. Since work began in 2015 to harden the system, the company has replaced more than 90 miles of underground lines that served customers well for many years but were ready for an upgrade.
"This work demonstrates our commitment to hardening our system against power outages so we can keep power flowing to our customers around the clock," said Mark Jones, regional president of The Illuminating Company. "We operate one of the nation's largest underground electric systems, and these upgrades allow us to continue providing safe, dependable power to our customers."
To determine the best locations for the underground upgrades, utility personnel reviewed outage patterns across The Illuminating Company's service territory and identified areas that would most benefit. More than one-third of company's completed work was performed in Strongsville, where the company maintains about 1,200 miles of underground lines serving 40,000 customers.
The Illuminating Company serves more than 750,000 customers across Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties. Follow The Illuminating Company on Twitter @IlluminatingCo and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IlluminatingCo.
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 on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
Editor's Note: Photos of The Illuminating Company crews upgrading the underground power system are available for download on Flickr. Video of the work being explained and performed can be found on the company's YouTube channel.