West Penn Power project underway to support shale gas industry in Pennsylvania

Source:FirstEnergy Corp.

West Penn Power is building a new transmission line at a cost of about $3 million to provide reliable electric service to a new natural gas facility in western Pennsylvania.

As part of its efforts to help support Pennsylvania's shale gas industry, West Penn Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (FE), is building a new transmission line at a cost of about $3 million to provide reliable electric service to a new natural gas facility in western Pennsylvania

The new transmission line will connect to an existing transmission line and provide electrical service to a new compressor station under construction in Robinson Township, Washington County. As part of the project, crews are erecting 28 wood, steel and laminated transmission structures along the 1.7-mile route near State Route 980 and the Quicksilver Golf Course.

Electrically powered compressor stations are necessary to move natural gas through pipelines. The new transmission line is expected to be completed in September prior to the completion of the facility, which is expected to be in operation later in the year. Ultimately, the new station has the potential to add approximately 60 megawatts of new electric load on the West Penn Power system.    

"The Marcellus Shale gas industry continues to generate jobs and bring new development opportunities to western Pennsylvania," said David W. McDonald, president of West Penn Power. "This project is part of the work we are doing to help enhance our electric system to help us meet the growing demand for safe and reliable electric service now and in the future."

FirstEnergy expects to spend nearly $50 million on new electric transmission projects to support the gas industry in western Pennsylvania in the 2015-2017 timeframe. The company continues to evaluate additional transmission upgrades as new service requests from shale gas developers are made throughout the region.

West Penn Power serves about 720,000 customers in 24 Pennsylvania counties.

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