Penelec Completing Upgrades to Electric System in Crawford County

Project to benefit about 1,000 customers in Vernon Township and nearby areas
Poles and lines

ERIE, Pa., Nov. 15, 2022 -- Penelec, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), is completing a project to upgrade its distribution system in Crawford County to help prevent or minimize the length of service disruptions, particularly during severe winter weather. The work includes converting an existing power line to a higher voltage in the fast-growing commercial corridor along State Route 322 in Vernon Township and installing automated equipment on the local network to help prevent service disruptions and restore power faster for nearly 1,000 customers.

The upgrades are part of Penelec's Long Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan (LTIIP II), a $200 million initiative to accelerate capital investments to the company's electric distribution system over five years and help ensure continued electric service reliability for customers. "We are reconstructing an existing power line to operate at a higher voltage, which will provide an alternate source of electricity to allow us to keep the lights on for many of our customers in the Vernon Township, Geneva and Conneaut Lake areas – including medical centers, big retail stores and restaurants – when our crews must make repairs or perform proactive maintenance," said Scott Wyman, president of FirstEnergy's Pennsylvania Operations. "As part of the project, crews are relocating several sections of the power line from hard-to-reach wooded or swampy areas to Route 322 and North Watson Run Road to allow access for our bucket trucks and enable faster repairs."

Penelec is creating the new 5.5-mile, 34.5 kilovolt (kV) line by converting the existing 12-kV power line that runs along Route 322 west from Cutter Road to North Watson Run Road. The line then heads north along North Watson Run Road to Harmonsburg Road where it will connect with another 34.5-kV power line, reinforcing and providing redundancy to the local electric network.

The work began in July and includes setting more than 100 new utility poles, hanging new wire with more electrical capacity along the entire length of the line and installing more than 70 new transformers. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

Four devices enabled with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) technology are being placed at key spots along the line. SCADA conveys real-time information about voltage and electric current conditions to distribution system operators. Based on conditions, operators can control the devices remotely to quickly isolate damage and transfer customer load from one line to another, helping to keep the lights on for customers when problems such as vehicle accidents or tree-related outages occur.

Penelec serves approximately 585,000 customers within 17,600 square miles of northern and central Pennsylvania. Follow Penelec on Twitter @Penelec and on Facebook at

FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, 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 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.

Editor's Note: Photos of the new poles along Route 322 and equipment being prepared for installation is available on Flickr.



News Media Contact: Todd Meyers, (724) 838-6650 or Investor Relations Contact: Irene Prezelj, (330) 384-3859

Last Modified: November 15, 2022