By August 16, 2016 Read More →

Berkeley, Jefferson to see $16M in power upgrades

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — FirstEnergy Corp. and Potomac Edison have announced plans to spend $128 million on infrastructure projects this year, with about $16 million going to projects that will benefit customers in Berkeley and Jefferson counties.

Todd Meyers, Potomac Edison’s utility contact for Maryland and West Virginia, said the infrastructure projects in the Eastern Panhandle will improve reliability and reduce the number and duration of power outages.

One of the planned projects is the replacement of wire on three transmission lines that serve Berkeley and Jefferson counties. Meyers said the $7.4 million project will replace 33 wooden poles that are “decades old” and weathered. The new wire will be a heavy-duty conductor that Meyers said can transmit electricity faster.

“These big power lines are like highways between different areas. The substations are like the exit ramps, diverting power to one place or another,” he said. “Knowing which substations interconnect and what systems are going on or off the power grid allows us to make upgrades that can benefit tens of thousands of customers.”

Potomac Edison will be spending $4.6 million on providing electrical service to the Procter & Gamble manufacturing plant in Berkeley County. Meyers said that project is now in its design and engineering phase, adding there is some temporary wiring in place for construction activities. The project includes tapping into an existing 138,000-volt line about five miles east of the Procter & Gamble site.

The Procter & Gamble project is scheduled for completion in 2017, and it will include a new transmission substation.

Wiring, cable and fuses will be upgraded throughout Potomac Edison’s service area for a cost of $3.1 million. The company plans to spend approximately $1 million to replace a transformer at a distribution substation near Charles Town.

“Charles Town is a growing area, so that project will enhance service reliability for our customers there,” Meyers said. “We have about 2,200 customers in the Charles Town and Ranson area.”

Meyers said Potomac Edison provides electrical service to about 260,000 customers in Maryland and 138,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle. Meyers said project costs are shared by Potomac Edison customers and are included in customers’ monthly bills.

Staff writer Mary Stortstrom can be reached at 304-263-8931 ext. 138 or www.twitter.com/mstortstromJN.

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