Mon Power completes power grid reliability upgrades

The company also spent about $7.6 million on transmission expansions and enhancements intended to boost Mon Power's high-voltage transmission system

Mon Power, a unit of FirstEnergy Corp., has completed scheduled reliability projects for 2013 designed to further enhance the electrical system and reliability in its 34-county service area, primarily in north-central West Virginia.

Major projects included transmission improvements, completion of new distribution circuits, replacement of underground cables, inspection and replacement of utility poles and ongoing vegetation management programs.

Mon Power's 2013 enhancements have both localized and widespread system benefits to customers throughout the service area. Upgrades of about $6.6 million to the distribution system included installation of new wire, cable, poles, fuses and automatic reclosing devices to enhance service reliability.

The company also spent about $7.6 million on transmission expansions and enhancements intended to increase the capacity and robustness of Mon Power's high-voltage transmission system. The work is part of Mon Power's overall $60 million investment in 2013 designed to help enhance service reliability.

Highlights of the Mon Power reliability work completed in 2013 include:

· Completing more than $30 million of vegetation management work along more than 3,100 miles of distribution and transmission lines.

· Investing about $1.8 million to support the expanding Marcellus shale gas industry.

· Completing the majority of work on a $2.1 million project to install a second transformer at the Miracle Run Substation to add capacity and help improve reliability for customers near Morgantown, W. Va.

· Investing over $15 million to provide electrical service to new residential and commercial customers in north-central West Virginia, including Morgantown, Fairmont, and Parkersburg.

· Installing enhanced protection equipment on lines to help improve electrical service and help limit the scope of unplanned outages for 6,100 customers in Marion, Lewis, Upshur, Randolph and Webster counties at a cost of about $450,000.

· Expanding substation capacity to improve service to 600 customers in the Indian Creek area of southern Monongalia County at a cost of $80,000.

· Replacing about $800,000 in electrical equipment identified to enhance the reliability of Mon Power's transmission system.

· Inspecting more than 44,000 distribution poles and replacing about 200 poles at a cost of about $1.6 million.

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