Western Maryland Electric Grid Stronger and More Resilient Following Smart Enhancements

Potomac Edison work will help prevent or minimize outages for thousands of customers
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WILLIAMSPORT, Md., Feb. 13, 2024 -- FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) subsidiary Potomac Edison has completed service reliability projects that will enhance electric service and minimize the impact of power outages for nearly 5,000 customers in Allegany, Frederick and Garrett counties.

Don McGettigan, Acting President of FirstEnergy's Maryland Operations: "Continually investing in upgrades to our system helps us restore service to our customers faster following severe weather and reduce the number of momentary and sustained power outages our customers experience."

The two projects allow Potomac Edison personnel to keep customers' lights on by automatically switching them to an adjacent power line if wires or equipment on their regular line are damaged or need to be taken out of service. By connecting customers to a second source of power along the north side of Interstate 68 between Grantsville and Frostburg in Garrett and Allegany counties, and from West Patrick Street North to Yellow Springs Pike in Frederick county, thousands of customers in the West Frederick, Frostburg and Finzel areas will experience fewer and shorter service disruptions.

Hundreds of homes and businesses in the area also will benefit from the installation of 14 new automated reclosing devices in substations and along neighborhood power lines that will help limit the frequency, duration and scope of service interruptions. Watch a video that explains how smart grid technology works, including reclosers.

These electrical devices:

  • Work like a circuit breaker in a home that shuts off power when trouble occurs, with the added benefit of automatically reenergizing a substation or power line within seconds for certain types of outages to keep power safely flowing to customers.
  • Are safer and more efficient because they often allow utility personnel to automatically restore service to customers instead of sending a crew to investigate.
  • Isolate the outage to that area and limit the total number of affected customers if the device senses a more serious issue, like a fallen tree on electrical equipment.
  • Quickly pinpoint the location of the fault and help utility personnel better understand the cause of the outage to help speed restoration.

In addition to these system enhancements, Potomac Edison proactively replaced about 50 miles of aging underground cable with a more reliable type of cable designed to withstand elements like dirt, rocks, lightning and water.

Potomac Edison serves about 285,000 customers in all or parts of Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery, and Washington counties in Maryland and 151,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Follow Potomac Edison at potomacedison.com, on X, formerly known as Twitter @PotomacEdison, and on Facebook at facebook.com/PotomacEdison.

FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving more than six million 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 online at firstenergycorp.com and on X @FirstEnergyCorp.



News Media Contact: Hannah Catlett, (440) 554-5346; Investor Contact: Irene Prezel, (330) 384-3859 

Last Modified: February 13, 2024