FirstEnergy Corp. is expanding a transmission substation in Leroy Center to help reinforce the electric system, support load growth and enhance reliability in The Illuminating Co.'s northeast Ohio service area.
The project includes installing circuit breakers and two massive electrical transformers, each weighing about 368 tons and measuring about 28 feet tall by 25 feet wide and 44 feet in length.
Transformers are used to convert power from 345 kV to 138 kV as it moves along the transmission system. Specialized "smart" communications equipment also was installed at the substation to remotely monitor operations.
A nearby 345 kV transmission line connecting the Perry Nuclear Power Plant to a substation in Cleveland also will be connected to the substation in Leroy Center as part of this project to enhance resiliency and operational flexibility. The overall cost of the project is about $24 million, with about $14.8 million projected to be spent in 2016. The in-service date for the expanded substation is June 1, 2016.
"By connecting this substation to an existing transmission line, we are able to create another cost-effective option when it comes to delivering safe and reliable power to our customers," said John Skory, regional president of The Illuminating Co. "In addition, the high-tech substation devices we plan to install will give us the ability to operate the system remotely, automatically resetting the equipment instead of having to send a line crew to investigate the cause of the problem."
The project is funded and owned by American Transmission Systems, a FirstEnergy transmission company.