Enhancing the Electric Superhighway
July 13, 2018
FirstEnergy’s Energizing the Future (EtF) initiative is aimed at modernizing the electric superhighway of the power grid, which carries energy across our service territory. This ongoing program is driving significant performance improvement on the company’s transmission system.
Since launching EtF in 2014, FirstEnergy has achieved a 37-percent reduction in equipment-related outages in its American Transmission Systems Inc. (ATSI) zone, which includes high-voltage lines and substations serving customers in the Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company, Toledo Edison and Penn Power territories.
Did you Know?
FirstEnergy’s transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.
FirstEnergy and its transmission companies now are expanding the program eastward into the Met-Ed and Penelec service areas – and expect to achieve similar results. Our Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission (MAIT) affiliate will build and own these facilities. We expect to invest more than $1 billion per year on transmission upgrades from 2018-2021.
“Energizing the Future is an essential part of our efforts to ensure customers benefit from a smarter, stronger and more secure power grid in the years ahead,” says Carl Bridenbaugh, vice president, Transmission. “Modernizing our transmission grid is boosting the performance of our overall electric system to help reduce the frequency and duration of customer outages.”
In the past four years, FirstEnergy has completed 600 to 700 transmission projects per year focused on three areas:
- Upgrading or replacing aging infrastructure – such as circuit breakers, transformers and deteriorating poles or towers – to harden the company’s transmission facilities against severe weather, reduce outages and cut maintenance costs
- Enhancing performance by building a smarter, more secure transmission system
- Adding operational flexibility that allows our grid operators to more swiftly react to changing grid conditions and energy supply mix
“The majority of the U.S. transmission system was built in the 1960s and 1970s, and significant upgrades are needed now, and in the future, to modernize the system and enhance performance,” Carl says. “Since 2014, we’ve replaced or rebuilt more than 1,200 miles of transmission lines across our territory, and we have a rigorous process in place to identify projects that have the greatest potential to enhance reliability for customers.”