Penn Power Begins Work to Modernize Electric System in Lawre

|Jun 30|magazine7 min read

NEW CASTLE, Pa., June 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Power Company (Penn Power), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), is upgrading infrastructure and installing technology to modernize its electric system in Lawrence County as part of a new, four-year plan expected to enhance electric service reliability for customers. This work builds upon the company's previous system upgrades that have decreased electric service disruption frequency by 20% for customers in areas where work has been completed since 2016.

Projects in Lawrence County include installing approximately 300 new poles and replacing more than 50,000 feet of power lines with thicker, more durable wire designed to withstand severe weather elements and tree debris. The work includes the creation of additional circuit ties, where adjacent distribution lines are interconnected so power can be re-routed to customers from another source if a line is damaged, resulting in faster power restoration. In addition, customers will benefit from the installation of nearly a dozen new automated reclosing devices that can help restore power to customers within seconds in the event of a power outage. 

The new, automated technology is safer and saves time and money because utility workers can restore service to customers remotely rather than sending a crew to investigate, which is especially helpful in rural areas.

"Penn Power's investments to modernize the local energy grid to date have successfully reduced the number and length of outages our customers experience, and we expect similar results with the ongoing work," said Ed Shuttleworth, regional president of Penn Power and Ohio Edison. "To continue meeting the evolving energy needs of our customers, we remain committed to updating and modernizing the infrastructure, technology and equipment used to provide safe, dependable electric service."

The work started earlier this month and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. It is part of Penn Power's second phase Long Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan (LTIIP II), approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to help enhance electric service for customers.

Penn Power serves more than 160,000 customers in all or parts of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Lawrence and Mercer counties in western Pennsylvania. Follow Penn Power on Twitter @Penn_Power, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennPower, and online at www.pennpower.com.

FirstEnergy is 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.  The company's transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.

Editor's Note:  Photos of Penn Power crews restringing power lines and installing new equipment are available for download on Flickr. A video of utility personnel installing the new electrical equipment in Lawrence County can be found on YouTube.

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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.