Ohio Edison Wraps Up Grid Modernization Work to Enhance Service Reliability for Customers in Northeast Ohio

AKRON, Ohio, Nov. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Ohio Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), is wrapping up grid modernization work expected to enhance electric service reliability for more than 200,000 customers in parts of Trumbull, Mahoning, Ashtabula and Columbiana counties.

Customers will benefit from installation of more than 20 new automated reclosing devices that will help limit the frequency, duration and scope of service interruptions. The electrical devices work like a circuit breaker in a home that shuts off power when trouble occurs, with the added benefit of automatically reenergizing a power line within seconds for certain types of outages to keep power safely flowing to customers.

These devices allow utility personnel to automatically restore service to customers rather than sending a crew to investigate, which is especially helpful in rural or hard-to-access areas. This automated technology is safer and more efficient. To determine the best locations for these devices, utility personnel reviewed outage patterns across Ohio Edison's service territory and identified areas that would benefit from an automated reclosing device.

The projects also include replacing 11 miles of existing power lines with thicker, durable wire designed to withstand tree debris and severe weather elements. New utility poles were installed to support the electrical infrastructure and additional power lines were constructed to connect customers to an alternate circuit, allowing for more flexibility in restoring outages due to events such as storms or vehicle accidents. The work provides a backup power feed that will help keep the lights on for customers if wires or equipment on their regular line are damaged or need to be taken out of service.

"Severe storms have the potential to cause damage to poles, wires and substations, requiring crews to make repairs in difficult conditions," said Ed Shuttleworth, regional president of Penn Power and Ohio Edison. "The completion of this work ahead of winter strengthens our electric system to help keep the power flowing safely and reliably to customers when they depend on it the most to stay warm and comfortable, and it will benefit them year-round."

The work in this area began in March and is on track for completion by the end of the year. It is part of Ohio Edison's Grid Modernization Plan, a three-year investment approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to modernize the electric distribution system in Ohio. Similar grid modernization work is planned across the entire Ohio Edison footprint.

Ohio Edison serves more than one million customers across 34 Ohio counties. Follow Ohio Edison on Twitter @OhioEdison, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OhioEdison, and online at www.ohioedison.com.

FirstEnergy is 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 approximately 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter: @FirstEnergyCorp.

Editor's Note: Photos of Ohio Edison crews restringing power lines and installing new equipment are available for download on Flickr.

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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.