As part of its ongoing efforts to improve its electric system, FirstEnergy Corp. invested about $198 million in 2014 in the Mon Power service area on transmission- and distribution-related reliability infrastructure projects, including building new transmission lines, new substations, and installing remote-control equipment to help reduce the number and duration of power outages.
About $65 million of the total was spent on transmission-related projects owned by the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Co. (TrAILCo), a FirstEnergy transmission company.
Some of the key FirstEnergy projects in Mon Power's 34-county service area in 2014 include:
· Completing construction of a $52 million transmission substation and transmission line in Doddridge County near Sherwood, W. Va., to support a nearby shale gas facility. The project also will support the regional transmission system and benefit more than 6,000 Mon Power customers along the U.S. 50 corridor in Doddridge, Harrison and Ritchie counties.
· Investing $76 million to continue Mon Power's ongoing tree trimming program to help maintain proper clearances along 4,000 miles of power lines in the Beverly, Buckhannon, Chester, Clarksburg, Elkins, Fairmont, Huttonsville, Lewisburg, Marlinton, Morgantown, Parkersburg, Snowshoe, Summersville, Wellsburg, Weirton and Weston areas.
· Investing about $20 million to provide electrical service to new residential and commercial customers in north-central West Virginia, including Morgantown, Fairmont, Parkersburg and Weirton.
· Completing an $11 million project to install heavier wire on a 138,000-volt transmission line in the Lake Lynn area to increase its capacity. The upgrade should enhance reliability for Mon Power customers in Monongalia County near Morgantown and help handle future load growth.
· Upgrading and replacing equipment on distribution circuits throughout the service territory at a cost of about $3.5 million. The new wire, cable and fuses that were installed are expected to enhance the electrical system and reliability for Mon Power customers.
· Installing automated-switching equipment and fault indicators on a 47-mile, 69,000-volt transmission line in Pocahontas County. The $580,000 upgrade will help benefit more than 6,000 Mon Power customers in the Marlinton and Snowshoe Resort areas.
Planning also continues for additional projects that are expected to be completed in 2015, including new substations, transmission lines and circuit upgrades.
In 2014, Mon Power made it easier for customers to check the progress of service restoration efforts when they experience a power outage. The company's 24/7 Power Center outage maps now display the status of crews restoring service after a power outage. With this enhancement, Mon Power customers can see when crews have been dispatched, when they are working on a repair, and when additional crews or equipment are needed to complete restoration work.
Mon Power customers also can subscribe to email and text message alert notifications to receive billing reminders, weather alerts in advance of major storms, and updates on scheduled or extended power outages. Customers can also use two-way text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their electric accounts.
Mon Power, a FirstEnergy electric distribution company, serves about 385,000 customers in 34 West Virginia counties.
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. Follow