More than $76 million of the total has been spent on transmission-related projects owned by American Transmission Systems Incorporated, a FirstEnergy transmission company.
"Whether it's building new transmission lines and substations, or replacing thousands of utility poles as part of our ongoing inspection programs, our goal is to reduce the number and duration of outages our customers experience," said Randall Frame, regional president of Ohio Edison and Penn Power.
"These projects help us enhance day-to-day service reliability for our customers along with maintaining our system's capability to handle future load growth."
Some of the key FirstEnergy projects in Penn Power's western Pennsylvania service area in 2014 include:
- Transmission substation enhancements, including replacing equipment and adding capacity for expected future growth, at a cost of more than $28 million.
- Transmission line construction and maintenance projects, including replacing breakers, poles and other hardware at a cost of more than $20 million.
- Major ongoing construction at a substation in New Castle to enhance service reliability at a cost of almost $14 million in 2014, with completion expected in June of this year.
- Distribution system enhancements, including rewiring circuits, annual pole inspection and replacements and distribution substation equipment replacements at a cost of almost $12 million.
- Tree trimming and vegetation management efforts, including dealing with the Emerald Ash Borer infestation, at a total cost of more than $7 million.
Planning also is continuing for additional projects that are expected to be completed in 2015, including new substations, transmission lines and circuit upgrades.