JCP&L Wraps Up Projects to Strengthen, Modernize Power System

MORRISTOWN, N.J., Jan. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), has completed more than $97 million in major projects that include infrastructure enhancements, vegetation management and distribution automation to its electric distribution system. The investment is part of an 18-month plan designed to enhance electric service reliability and minimize the impact of outages for the utility's 1.1 million customers in northern and central New Jersey.

Known as the JCP&L Reliability Plus Infrastructure Investment Program, this capital investment plan built on service reliability enhancements made by JCP&L in previous years through its annual base capital investments. Projects were completed between June 1, 2019, and December 31, 2020.

"We have taken great care to ensure that JCP&L Reliability Plus focuses on the enhancements that have the most reliability benefit for our more than one million New Jersey customers," said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L. "These projects will help to reduce the frequency of power outages, mitigate potential tree damage during severe weather events, and modernize our electric grid to provide more flexibility and resiliency for the electrical system in New Jersey."

Key JCP&L Reliability Plus projects included:

    --  Overhead circuit upgrades - JCP&L installed over 1,700 automated
        reclosing devices on power lines across its service territory to help
        reduce the frequency and duration 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 if it is temporarily interrupted to keep power
        safely flowing to customers. The company also removed overhanging limbs
        near more than 1,300 miles of JCP&L power lines and in targeted areas to
        address tree damage and trimming in areas of the system impacted during
        severe weather. This tree trimming work supplemented JCP&L's ongoing
        vegetation management program, conducted by certified forestry
        contractors under the company's direction on a four-year cycle.
    --  Distribution automation - Customers will benefit from installation of
        technology that can automatically detect damage on the system, safely
        isolate it and reroute power flow around the damaged equipment, reducing
        the number of customers out of service until repairs are made. JCP&L
        also added communications equipment to aid real-time monitoring of the
        distribution system to promote more rapid service restoration.
    --  Substation reliability enhancement - Equipment upgrades were made to
        protect and modernize substations, making them less susceptible to storm
        damage. These upgrades included flood mitigation efforts and the
        installation of two specially designed flood walls in 2020 to protect
        substations serving customers in Sussex and Essex Counties. JCP&L also
        purchased a new 115kV mobile substation that can be transported to a
        substation experiencing an outage location to help restore customers
        more rapidly while permanent repairs are made.

In 2021, JCP&L will continue its ongoing service reliability efforts with capital investments aimed at equipment upgrades, as well as its annual vegetation management efforts and continued inspection and maintenance work to help enhance system resiliency and keep power flowing to customers during severe weather.

JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren. Follow JCP&L on Twitter @JCP_L, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL, or online at www.jcp-l.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 on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.

Editor's Note: Photos of the JCP&L Reliability Plus work is available to download on Flickr, and a video of utility personnel explaining and installing an automated reclosing device can be found on YouTube.

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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.