The $34 million project includes the installation of specialized voltage-regulating equipment that responds to real-time electrical conditions, boosting or reducing voltage, as needed, to maintain consistent levels on the regional transmission network. The substation work includes the addition of new capacitor banks, circuit breakers, communications equipment and a control building.
In addition, four massive electrical transformers, weighing about 173,000 pounds each and measuring about 12 feet tall by 12 feet wide, are being installed as part of this project.
The work is expected to be completed in October. The project will benefit more than 125,000 Potomac Edison customers in Frederick city, eastern Frederick County, and western Montgomery County.
"Adding voltage support is just one of the things we do to help ensure the reliable flow of power from one substation to another," said James A. Sears, Jr., president of FirstEnergy's Maryland Operations. "With many of our customers using advanced equipment that is sensitive to voltage fluctuations, our new equipment is a cost-effective option to help maintain consistent power levels throughout our system."
The substation expansion is part of FirstEnergy's previously announced plans to spend $128 million in 2015 in Potomac Edison's service area in western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia to enhance service reliability and help meet future load growth. About $22 million of the budgeted total will be for transmission-related projects owned by the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Company TrAILCo, a FirstEnergy transmission affiliate.
Potomac Edison serves about 250,000 customers in seven Maryland counties and 132,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.
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.