FirstEnergy Completes Substation Project to Boost Service Reliability for Electric Customers in Lorain County
AKRON, Ohio, Jan. 16, 2017 -- FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) today announced that a $30 million transmission project has been energized in Elyria, Ohio, to meet rising demand for electricity driven by commercial and industrial load growth in the area.
The centerpiece of the project is a new 345/138-kilovolt (kV) substation that will increase the electric capacity available to serve Ohio Edison customers in Elyria, Lorain, Sheffield Lake and Vermilion, as well as provide FirstEnergy with greater flexibility to operate the local transmission network. The project also required the construction of eight transmission lines supported by 36 new tower structures, which were needed to connect existing power lines in the area to the new substation. FirstEnergy and its affiliates worked closely with property owners to acquire the necessary easements and to build the new transmission lines with as little disruption as possible.
Construction began in late 2015 after the substation was approved by the Ohio Power Siting Board, and the new facilities were energized ahead of a December 2016 in-service deadline.
"The new substation will provide a significant reinforcement to the electric system across our region and ensure that the grid can support commercial and industrial activity in Lorain County," said Randy Frame, regional president of Ohio Edison. "The construction work was completed safely, on time, and within budget, with minimal impact on local communities and property owners."
The project is part of FirstEnergy's Energizing the Future initiative, a $4.2 to $5.8 billion investment program in electric transmission infrastructure between 2017-2021 that involves upgrading and strengthening the grid to meet the future demands of customers and communities. Key factors driving this major investment in FirstEnergy's transmission system include replacing existing equipment with advanced technologies designed to enhance system reliability; meeting projected load growth driven by shale gas-related activity and other development in the region; as well as reinforcing the system in light of power plant deactivations.
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. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
Editor's Note: Photos of the new substation are available for download on Flickr.
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the risks and uncertainties at the Competitive Energy Services (CES) segment, including FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. and its subsidiaries and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company, related to continued depressed wholesale energy and capacity markets, and the viability and/or success of strategic business alternatives, such as potential CES generating unit asset sales, the potential conversion of the remaining generation fleet from competitive operations to a regulated or regulated-like construct or the potential need to deactivate additional generating units; the risks and uncertainties associated with a lack of viable alternative strategies regarding the CES segment, thereby causing FES to seek protection under the bankruptcy laws and the losses, liabilities and claims arising from such bankruptcy proceeding; the continued ability of our regulated utilities to recover their costs; costs being higher than anticipated and the success of our policies to control costs and to mitigate low energy, capacity and market prices; other legislative and regulatory changes, and revised 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; the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures that may arise in connection with any litigation, including New Source Review litigation, or potential regulatory initiatives or rulemakings (including that such initiatives or rulemakings could result in our decision to deactivate or idle certain generating units); the uncertainties associated with the deactivation of older regulated and competitive units, including the impact on vendor commitments, such as long-term fuel and transportation agreements, and as it relates to the reliability of the transmission grid, the timing thereof; the impact of other future changes to the operational status or availability of our generating units and any capacity performance charges associated with unit unavailability; 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 or as a result of the incident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant); issues arising from the indications of cracking in the shield building at Davis-Besse; the risks and uncertainties associated with litigation, arbitration, mediation and like proceedings, including, but not limited to, any such proceedings related to vendor commitments, such as long-term fuel and transportation agreements; the impact of labor disruptions by our unionized workforce; replacement power costs being higher than anticipated or not fully hedged; the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; changes in customers' demand for power, including, but not limited to, changes resulting from the implementation of state and federal energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic and financial goals, including, but not limited to, the ability to continue to reduce costs and to successfully execute our financial plans designed to improve our credit metrics and strengthen our balance sheet through, among other actions, our cash flow improvement plan and other proposed capital raising initiatives; our ability to improve electric commodity margins and the impact of, among other factors, the increased cost of fuel and fuel transportation on such margins; 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; 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