FirstEnergy Upgrading W. Va. Transformer To Accommodate More Wind

Akron, Ohio-headquartered FirstEnergy Corp. expects to invest about $166 million this year on distribution and transmission infrastructure projects to help enhance service reliability for its customers in Mon Power’s 34-county West Virginia service area. Among the plans is replacing a transformer to accommodate more wind power.

Specifically, the company is replacing a 138 kV transformer in a transmission substation near Thomas, W.Va., with a new transformer of greater capacity to upgrade the regional transmission grid; this will accommodate increased output from nearby wind generation in Tucker County.

This $2.2 million project is scheduled to begin in the fall, and the new transformer will be operational by the end of the year.

The other projects include enhancing transmission, constructing new distribution lines, and inspecting and replacing utility poles and other equipment. Mon Power, a FirstEnergy electric distribution company, serves about 385,000 customers in 34 West Virginia counties.

“Each year we carefully review and plan transmission and distribution projects that will enhance service to our customers while also preparing our system for future economic growth,” says Holly Kauffman, president of FirstEnergy’s West Virginia operations. “By doing proactive upgrades, we enhance the reliability and resiliency of our system and help reduce the duration and frequency of service interruptions our customers might experience.”

In 2016, FirstEnergy spent about $250 million in the Mon Power area on hundreds of large and small transmission and distribution projects.

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