FirstEnergy to upgrade transmission equipment in northeast Ohio using helicopters

Published on August 04, 2023 by Chris Galford

© FirstEnergy Corp.

American Transmission Systems, Inc. of Ohio will deploy a mix of helicopters and ground crews this season in efforts to replace more than 550 insulators and other equipment along a 35-mile stretch of transmission line in the state’s northeast.

The work will focus on a 138-kV transmission line spanning Mahoning, Columbiana and Jefferson counties. When finished, the new insulators will separate high-voltage transmission lines from grounded support towers to help maintain reliable power delivery in the region. Aerial deployment will reduce the need for access roads to move large trucks and equipment to the site.

“By installing new, upgraded equipment along this high-voltage line, we can help prevent potential power outages and ensure that our transmission system continues to serve customers safely and reliably in the future,” Carl Bridenbaugh, FirstEnergy’s vice president of Transmission, said.

For now, the transmission line remains deenergized, and will remain so until work is complete. An alternate power feed is supplying customers in the meantime. Work began in July and should conclude sometime this fall. Crews from Ohio Edison, a fellow FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary, will undertake a 10-mile portion of the insulator replacement work between Boardman Township and the Columbiana County line, and the balance of the replacements will be handled by a contractor.

The project is part of the larger Energizing the Future initiative, a multi-year effort to upgrade FirstEnergy’s transmission system and deploy modernized equipment and technologies for the grid. As of last year, the company had invested more than $10 billion into this work.