In the US, FirstEnergy will this year spend $111 million to improve the energy distribution and transmission infrastructure for its subsidiary Toledo Edison.
The project will enhance service reliability for some 300,000 consumers in north-western Ohio.
The announced budget will fund construction of new transmission lines, modernising existing lines and installation of technologies and devices to improve grid automation.
- Installing $4.5 million voltage regulating equipment at a substation in Oregon
- Installing new circuit breakers as well as smart technologies at a substation in Perrysburg to shorten outage restoration times and enhance system performance at a cost of $4.1 million.
- Continuing construction on a new 138-kilovolt transmission line in the Sandusky and Fremont areas, with 16 miles located in the Toledo Edison footprint and 12 miles in Ohio Edison territory. For 2018, about $1.4 million will be spent in the Toledo Edison area.
- Relocating electric infrastructure to accommodate highway improvement projects by municipalities, counties and the State of Ohio across northwest Ohio at a cost of about $1.8 million.
- Ongoing installation of fiber optic cable to support transmission network operations at a cost of $1.5 million.
- Adding high-voltage infrastructure to accommodate load growth and new customers at a cost of $1 million.
- Inspecting and repairing, as needed, more than 22,000 of Toledo Edison's wooden poles at a cost of $750,000. This inspection process is conducted on a 10-year cycle.
- Developing new underground and overhead infrastructure for residential, commercial and industrial customers throughout northwest Ohio at a cost of $550,000
- Replacing seven circuit breakers at various substations at a cost of nearly $500,000.
- Replacing two underground vault tops and other equipment in downtown Toledo at a cost of $325,000.
- Extending the underground distribution system in downtown Toledo to create redundancy at a cost of $200,000, which could speed service restoration should outages occur.
Over $61 million will be directed towards energy transmission projects to be conducted by American Transmission Systems, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy responsible for energy transmission.
Last year, First Energy invested $113 million towards energy distribution and transmission for customers of Toledo Edison.
Rich Sweeney, president of Toledo Edison, said: "Over the past several years Toledo Edison has been one of the most reliable electric utilities in the state. This type of work plays a big part in keeping our system strong,"
"In 2017, we performed considerably better than the reliability standards established by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. When customers did experience an outage, power was restored in about an hour and a half."