Press Releases

FirstEnergy installs new high-voltage wires in Northwest Ohio to support grid reliability

March 25, 2023

Posted by: Janmesh Chintankar

Akron, States – American Transmission Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., is using helicopter crews to upgrade a high-voltage transmission line in Ottawa County, stringing new, larger wires that can handle additional demand if other lines in the area are out of service.

The 138-kilovolt transmission line runs nearly eight miles southwest from the Lakeview Substation in Port Clinton to the Ottawa Substation in Salem Township. In addition to stringing the new wires, ATSI will replace six existing transmission structures along the route with new steel monopoles that can better support the larger wires. ATSI also will make modifications to another 42 transmission structures, installing new components and insulators to support the wires. Insulators separate high-voltage transmission lines from their grounded support towers and help maintain safe, consistent delivery of power while preventing the current from traveling through the structures.

Using helicopter crews to perform the work is faster and more efficient than deploying ground crews, which would require the creation of access roads for large trucks and equipment. ATSI began construction along the line in February and expects to complete the work in May.

The transmission line serves OttawaErie and Lorain counties. With the new wires, the line will be able to carry increased current in the event of unplanned service interruptions on other lines in the area. When completed, the [$20 million (€18.55 million)] project will enhance the reliability, resiliency, efficiency and operational flexibility of the transmission system in the area. The project was identified in conjunction with PJM, the electric grid operator for Ohio Edison and Toledo Edison’s service area, as part of its reliability planning analysis.

“This line upgrade will reinforce our transmission system and will help provide us with the flexibility we need to continue delivering reliable power to customers in northwest Ohio,” says Carl Bridenbaugh, FirstEnergy’s vice president of Transmission.

FirstEnergy also continues to move forward with Energising the Future, a multi-year initiative designed to upgrade FirstEnergy’s transmission system with advanced equipment and technologies that will reinforce the power grid and help reduce the frequency and duration of customer outages. Since 2014, FirstEnergy has upgraded or replaced existing power lines, incorporated smart technology into the grid and upgraded dozens of substations with new equipment and enhanced security features. Through 2022, FirstEnergy has invested more than [$10 billion (€9.28 billion)] in the Energising the Future initiative.

FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form the investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in OhioPennsylvaniaNew JerseyWest VirginiaMaryland and New York. The company’s transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at First Energy Corp and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.

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