Transmission Line Upgrades to Help Enhance Reliability for West Penn Power CustomersHelicopters aid modernization project that benefits thousands in three southwest Pennsylvania counties
GREENSBURG, Pa., May 5, 2021 -- West Penn Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), is completing transmission line upgrades to help enhance electric service reliability for customers in Allegheny, Armstrong, and Westmoreland Counties. The work includes the replacement of hardware across the 17.3-mile transmission line to help reduce the frequency of equipment-related outages.
The Springdale-Kittanning 138-kilovolt transmission line transports high-voltage electricity to substations that serve customers across western Pennsylvania. The replacement of aging hardware will help increase reliability of the line, which was first constructed around 1923.
"Projects like this one are critical to helping ensure reliable power keeps flowing to our customers," said Carl Bridenbaugh, vice president, Transmission. "In addition to boosting performance, reinforcing the system helps reduce the risk of power outages in the future."
Crews were able to complete most of the upgrades by helicopter, minimizing the disruption for customers and the impact on the environment. In conventional construction, crews build access roads and drive trucks to the work site, but aerial construction transports workers, equipment, and materials by flying them into place with the aid of a long, synthetic rope suspended beneath the helicopter.
Aerial construction on the Springdale-Kittanning transmission line began in January 2021. The project is part of Energizing the Future, FirstEnergy's multi-year investment initiative aimed at upgrading transmission facilities with advanced equipment and technology.
West Penn Power serves approximately 725,000 customers within 24 counties in central and southwestern Pennsylvania. Follow West Penn Power on Twitter @W_Penn_Power and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WestPennPower
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 www.firstenergycorp.com and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
Editor's Note: Photos of crews completing the aerial work are available for download on Flickr.
CONTACT: Brittany Al Dawood, (330) 703-5709