Transmission Project to Benefit Penelec Customers

A crane operator sets a self-supporting steel pole during the Altoona transmission project construction. While the line is carried predominately by wooden poles, steel poles were used where the line bends, eliminating the need for guy wires and anchors. ‚Äč

February 5, 2021

As part of the ongoing Energizing the Future program, FirstEnergy recently completed a power line project in southcentral Pennsylvania designed to provide flexibility to the transmission and distribution system.

Located in Penelec’s territory, the new line creates the ability to more quickly restore power to customers in the event of service interruptions. Construction on the two-phase project in the Altoona region began last spring:

  • Phase one involved building a new 46-kilovolt (kV) line to connect Penelec’s Westfall substation to it​s 20th Street substation in Altoona, providing a second source of power for the 20th Street facility. Prior to this project, distribution lines leaving the substation were fed by a single transmission line, creating the possibility of extended power outages should the line need repair.
  • Phase two consisted of crews rebuilding the 46-kV line linking the 20th Street substati​on to the Collinsville substation. The reconstructed line has larger-sized wire to increase carrying capacity and enhance electric service reliability. ​

“This investment will provide reliability benefits for 3,000 of our residential and commercial customers in downtown Altoona, as well as 35,000 customers in Blair County, for decades to come,” said Nick Austin, regional president, Penelec. “Going forward, we have the capability to more quickly get the lights back on for our customers by switching to a different power source as needed.”

The Altoona project was completed and energized by FirstEnergy’s MidAtlantic Interstate Transmission (MAIT) subsidiary.

Through Energizing the Future, FirstEnergy is upgrading or replacing existing transmission lines, constructing new lines, incorporating new, smart technology into the grid, and outfitting substations with new equipment and advanced security features. These upgrades are increasing reliability and enhancing physical security and cybersecurity across the FirstEnergy transmission system.