Ohio Edison to invest $383 million on power grid upgrades

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FirstEnergy Corp. expects to invest about $383 million in 2015 on distribution and transmission infrastructure projects in Ohio Edison's 36-county service territory.

Major projects scheduled for 2015 include transmission enhancements to reinforce the system and support economic growth, construction of new circuits, and the inspection and replacement of utility poles and other equipment.

More than $233 million of the budgeted total will be spent on transmission-related projects owned by American Transmission Systems, a FirstEnergy transmission company.

FirstEnergy projects scheduled in the Ohio Edison footprint in 2015 include:

·      Completing construction on a new 114-mile, 345-kV transmission line from FirstEnergy's Bruce Mansfield Power Plant on the Ohio River to a new substation near Cleveland to help enhance system reliability as a result of power plants being deactivated in the region. Nearly $73 million is expected to be spent on the project this year, and it is scheduled to go into service by the end of May.

·      Proposing construction on a new transmission substation in the Elyria area budgeted at $9.7 million to help enhance system reliability.

·      Spending more than $5 million to complete a new transmission substation in the Massillon area.

·      Constructing a new 69-kV transmission line in the Berlin Lake area at an estimated cost of $3.2 million.

·      Replacing wire on a 138-kV transmission line that runs between substations in Akron and Barberton at a cost of $2.4 million to enhance service reliability.

·      Installing remote-control equipment and circuit breaker upgrades at various substations throughout the Ohio Edison area at an estimated cost of $2.5 million to help reduce the number and duration of power outages customers might experience.

·      Spending about $1.2 million to complete a modular substation in Brunswick and about $400,000 to complete a similar substation in Akron. Both projects are expected to be in service by June.

·      Investing more than $5.7 million inspecting and replacing distribution poles in Ohio Edison's service area. This inspection process is conducted on a 10-year cycle. More than 58,000 utility poles are scheduled to be inspected in 2015.

Ohio Edison serves more than 1 million customers across 36 Ohio counties.

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