West Penn Power begins $17 million project to upgrade grid

Published on July 25, 2016 by Jessica Limardo

West Penn Power began working on a $17 million project on Wednesday to update its electrical infrastructure – a project that will improve the safety and reliability of electricity for its 720,000 customers.

“The work is designed to benefit customers by complementing the projects we already do each year to enhance the reliability of our electric system,” David W. McDonald, regional president of West Penn Power, said. “Whether it’s upgrading existing circuits or installing ‘smart’ equipment that can be operated remotely, our goal is to make our system the best it can be when it comes to providing reliable service.”

The project is part of the company’s five-year long-term infrastructure improvement plan. The project is expected to total $88 million in infrastructure updates through 2020. The current phase includes installing protective materials on electric wires and poles and replacing electric lines. It will also include updating the grid with automated and remote control technology to improve reliability for consumers and minimize outages and service disruptions.

West Penn Power will execute a number of changes throughout this year, including the installation of new electronic circuit breakers to prevent service disruptions and installing automated switches on high-voltage distribution circuits.

West Penn Power is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp.