West Penn Power announces grid reliability supported through new installation

Greensburg, Pa.-based West Penn Power said Wednesday it had completed upgrades of high-voltage transmission lines that will handle additional demand if other lines go out of service.

The 138-kilovolt transmission lines run along nearly eight miles across Rostraver Township and South Huntingdon Township. Costing an estimated $13.7 million, the project is designed to reduce the risk of overloads on the line, which could impact the lines’ reliability, officials said. Additionally, West Penn Power said, it had installed several new transmission structures along the route and made upgrades at the Yukon substation, which is fed by the line.

“As the highway of the country’s electrical infrastructure, a modern, robust, and flexible high-voltage transmission system plays a crucial role in delivering electricity to residents and businesses,” said Carl Bridenbaugh, FirstEnergy’s vice president of Transmission. “Working closely with PJM to identify and construct projects such as this will help enhance grid reliability for countless customers throughout the multi-state PJM region.”

The line is now capable of carrying increased power flow, officials said, and will help with reliability in the event of an unplanned service interruption in the area. The project was completed in December and was identified as part of PJM’s reliability planning analysis.

The project is also part of “Energizing the Future,” a multi-year initiative to upgrade First Energy’s transmission system with advanced equipment and technologies to reinforce the power grid and reduce outages.

Since 2015, First Energy has upgraded or replaced existing power lines and upgraded dozens of substations with new smart technology and equipment. Through 2022, FirstEnergy has invested more than $10 billion into the Energizing the Future initiative.

Liz Carey

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