New Voltage-Regulating Equipment Will Help Enhance Service Reliability for Customers

AKRON, Ohio, April 6, 2016 -- FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) is expanding a substation in Wampum, Pa., to accommodate new equipment designed to reinforce the regional electric system and enhance service reliability for Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power) utility customers.

The $48 million project includes the installation of specialized voltage-regulating equipment that is designed to respond to real-time electrical conditions, boosting or reducing voltage as needed to maintain consistent levels on the regional transmission network.  The substation work also includes installing capacitor banks, circuit breakers, transformers, communications equipment and a small control building.  The work at the Hoytdale substation is expected to be completed by early June.

"Adding this equipment is just one of the things we do to maintain a reliable flow of power from one substation to another," said Randall A. Frame, regional president of Ohio Edison and Penn Power.  "With many of our customers using specialized equipment that is sensitive to voltage fluctuations, our new equipment is a cost-effective option to help maintain consistent voltage levels and enhance reliability throughout our system."

As part of the construction process, more than 80,000 cubic yards of rock were removed from a football-field-sized piece of land adjacent to the existing Hoytdale substation where the new voltage equipment is being installed.

This voltage-control project is part of FirstEnergy's $4.2 billion "Energizing the Future" transmission initiative, which is designed to upgrade and enhance the company's high-voltage transmission system to make service more reliable and help modernize the transmission grid.

The substation and its new equipment is owned by American Transmission Systems, Incorporated, a FirstEnergy transmission company. 

Penn Power serves more than 160,000 customers in all or parts of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Lawrence, and Mercer counties in western Pennsylvania.  Follow Penn Power on Twitter @Penn Power, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennPower.

FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company 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 work being done on the expanded FirstEnergy substation project in Hoytdale, Pa., are available for download on Flickr.



CONTACT: News Media Contact: Chris Eck, (330) 384-7939