$202 Million to be Spent in 2018 in The Illuminating Company Service Area to Strengthen Electric SystemProjects Expected to Enhance Service Reliability for Customers
AKRON, Ohio, Feb. 28, 2018 -- As part of its ongoing efforts to increase the durability and resiliency of its electric system, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) plans to invest about $202 million during 2018 to enhance service reliability for more than 750,000 customers in The Illuminating Company's five-county northeast Ohio service area.
Projects include replacing underground circuits and expanding service in Cleveland and other areas, adding new equipment in substations, installing security and electrical protective equipment, adding remote control equipment to reduce outage durations, relocating equipment as part of road projects, and inspecting and replacing utility poles.
"Our continued work has made The Illuminating Company the most reliable and affordable electric service in the city of Cleveland and in our five-county area," said John Skory, regional president of The Illuminating Company. "The projects we completed in previous years have helped us exceed the reliability standards established by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and the projects planned for this year will continue to help make our service even better and allow us to expand in Cleveland and other areas."
FirstEnergy projects scheduled in Cleveland for 2018 include:
- Inspecting and replacing equipment in Cleveland's underground network, as needed, at a cost of approximately $2.4 million.
- Relocating electrical equipment as part of the Opportunity Corridor project in Cleveland.
- Replacing insulators on 138-kilovolt transmission towers at a cost of about $2.8 million to enhance service reliability for residential, commercial and industrial customers.
- Inspecting and replacing utility poles. The inspection process is conducted on a 10-year cycle. Inspections began in January, with replacement work scheduled to be performed throughout the year.
Other FirstEnergy projects scheduled in The Illuminating Company footprint:
- Adding circuit breakers and other equipment to a transmission substation in Brooklyn at a cost of about $5.4 million.
- Replacing circuit breakers and other equipment at a substation in Ashtabula at a cost of $2.9 million.
- Connecting a substation in Mentor to different transmission lines to provide greater resiliency at a cost of $2 million.
- Replacing underground electrical cables at a variety of locations at a cost of approximately $7.7 million.
- Upgrading protective equipment at a substation in Strongsville at cost of $1.3 million.
- Installing additional circuit breakers at substations in Walton Hills, Cleveland and Cuyahoga Heights at a cost of approximately $3 million.
- Relocating electrical equipment as part of road projects in Mentor, Newburgh Heights, North Royalton, and Solon at a cost of $1.4 million.
- Installing a new distribution line in Warrensville Heights and Orange Village at an expected cost of $700,000 to help accommodate growing electrical usage in these and surrounding communities.
Approximately $57 million of the budgeted total is expected to be spent on transmission-related projects owned by American Transmission Systems, Incorporated, a FirstEnergy transmission affiliate.
In 2017, FirstEnergy spent about $209 million in The Illuminating Company area on hundreds of large and small transmission and distribution projects to enhance customer service reliability.
The Illuminating Company serves 750,000 customers across Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties. Connect with The Illuminating Company at www.illuminatingcompany.com, on Twitter @IlluminatingCo and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IlluminatingCo.
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 more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Visit FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and follow on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
Editor's Note: Photos of some of The Illuminating Company infrastructure projects are available for download on Flickr.
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(PJM) markets and FERC-jurisdictional wholesale transactions; FERC regulation of cost-of-service rates; and FERC's compliance and enforcement activity, including compliance and enforcement activity related to North American Electric Reliability Corporation's mandatory reliability standards; the uncertainties of various cost recovery and cost allocation issues resulting from American Transmission Systems, Incorporated's realignment into PJM; the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; other legislative and regulatory changes, including the federal administration's required review and potential revision of environmental requirements, including, but not limited to, the effects of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, Coal Combustion Residuals regulations, Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and Mercury and Air Toxics Standards programs, including our estimated costs of compliance, Clean Water Act (CWA) waste water effluent limitations for power plants, and CWA 316(b) water intake regulation; adverse regulatory or legal decisions and outcomes with respect to our nuclear operations (including, but not limited to, the revocation or non-renewal of necessary licenses, approvals or operating permits by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; issues arising from the indications of cracking in the shield building at Davis-Besse; changing market conditions that could affect the measurement of certain liabilities and the value of assets held in our Nuclear Decommissioning Trusts, pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause us and/or our subsidiaries to make additional contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger than currently anticipated; the impact of changes to significant accounting policies; the impact of any changes in tax laws or regulations, including the Tax Cuts and Job Act, or adverse tax audit results or rulings; the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with our financial plans, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting us and our subsidiaries; further actions that may be taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect us and/or our subsidiaries' access to financing, increase the costs thereof, increase requirements to post additional collateral to support, or accelerate payments under outstanding commodity positions, letters of credit and other financial guarantees, and the impact of these events on the financial condition and liquidity of FirstEnergy Corp. and/or its subsidiaries, specifically FES and its subsidiaries; issues concerning the stability of domestic and foreign financial institutions and counterparties with which we do business; and the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, and other similar factors. 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CONTACT: Mark Durbin, (330) 761-4365