FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) is building a new 48-mile, 345-kilovolt transmission line that will enhance service reliability in the Toledo Edison service area. The $32 million project also is designed to accommodate future electrical load growth and is expected to be completed by June 2015.
FirstEnergy is using helicopters to string the new line between existing transmission towers that connect substations in Sylvania Township, Liberty Center and Troy Township. This construction method reduces impact on the land near the existing towers, and makes the building process more efficient than accessing the entire route with trucks and crews on the ground.
"FirstEnergy is investing significant resources in Toledo Edison's service area this year to bolster grid reliability and to support future growth and economic development," said Linda Moss, regional president of Toledo Edison. "Our reliability has been the best among investor-owned utilities in Ohio for the last three years, and these ongoing investments are a key reason why."
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that the gross domestic product in the Toledo area grew by about three percent in 2013. Projects like these provide vital flexibility for the grid to accommodate future business expansion.
The new transmission line is part of FirstEnergy's previously announced $4.2 billion "Energizing the Future" initiative designed to enhance service reliability for customers as power plants in the region are deactivated due to new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
Toledo Edison serves more than 300,000 customers in northwest Ohio.