WILLIAMSPORT — Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., has completed an upgrade to the electrical system serving Grant County, West Virginia, that will enhance service reliability for more than 2,100 customers.
The work involved splitting a 286-mile circuit of power lines that deliver electricity from a substation to customers in the Maysville area into two smaller circuits. The circuit was previously the largest by mileage within FirstEnergy. With the split, one 175-mile circuit now serves approximately 1,240 customers in Maysville, Scherr and Greenland, and the other 112-mile circuit serves approximately 900 customers in Arthur and Lahmansville.
With two smaller circuits, Potomac Edison will be able to manage demand more efficiently and limit the number of customers impacted by outages, particularly those caused by severe weather.
In addition, the circuits are connected by new electrical equipment called automated reclosers that will automatically switch customers to an adjacent power source in the event of certain outages. By tying customers to a second source of power, Potomac Edison will be able to further enhance reliability and minimize the frequency and duration of service interruptions that customers experience. This is the first time Potomac Edison has completed an automation project of this kind in West Virginia.
“The strategic investment in our system will generate meaningful benefits for customers in Grant County by reducing the impact of outages caused by severe weather events and enhancing our service restoration capabilities in the area,” said James A. Sears Jr., vice president of Potomac Edison.
Overall, the $1.4 million project included the installation of three automated reclosers, new line regulators for voltage support and line construction and replacement in various places along the two circuits. The work began last year and was completed in late July.
Potomac Edison serves about 275,000 customers in Maryland and about 151,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.