As part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen the durability and flexibility of its electric system, FirstEnergy Corp. plans to invest in several electric utilities this year.
The company plans to invest more than $110 million in 2014 on service reliability infrastructure upgrades in Mon Power's 34-county service area, primarily in north-central West Virginia. This represents about a $32 million increase compared to what the company invested in reliability infrastructure in the same area last year. The vast majority of the projects are designed to upgrade, expand and inspect Mon Power's distribution system, as well as perform tree trimming and enhance both service capacity and reliability. The scheduled projects include:
- Investing more than $33 million to support the expanding Marcellus shale gas industry. Projects are in the Fairmont, Sistersville and Salem areas.
- Upgrading and replacing equipment on distribution circuits throughout the service territory at a cost of more than $3 million. The updates – including installing new wire, cable and fuses – are expected to enhance the electrical system and reliability for Mon Power customers.
- Increasing capacity on the Collins Ferry-Osage 138kV transmission line at a cost of more than $5 million to help enhance both the line's performance and the reliability of regional transmission system to benefit Mon Power customers in Monongalia County near Morgantown.
- Inspecting 40,000 distribution poles and replacing about 250 poles at a cost of more than $2 million.
- Investing approximately $1.8 million to replace electrical equipment identified during routine inspections of the transmission system to enhance reliability throughout Mon Power's service area.