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JCP&L wraps up projects to strengthen, modernize power system

Work completed under JCP&L Reliability Plus Infrastructure Investment Program

Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., has completed more than $97 million in major projects that include infrastructure enhancements, vegetation management and distribution automation to its electric distribution system.

The investment is part of an 18-month plan designed to enhance electric service reliability and minimize the impact of outages for the utility’s 1.1 million customers in northern and central New Jersey.

Known as the JCP&L Reliability Plus Infrastructure Investment Program, this capital investment plan built on service reliability enhancements made by JCP&L in previous years through its annual base capital investments. Projects were completed between June 1, 2019, and December 31, 2020.

“We have taken great care to ensure that JCP&L Reliability Plus focuses on the enhancements that have the most reliability benefit for our more than one million New Jersey customers,” said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L.  “These projects will help to reduce the frequency of power outages, mitigate potential tree damage during severe weather events, and modernize our electric grid to provide more flexibility and resiliency for the electrical system in New Jersey.”

Key JCP&L Reliability Plus projects included:

  • Overhead circuit upgrades – JCP&L installed over 1,700 automated reclosing devices on power lines across its service territory to help reduce the frequency and duration of service interruptions. The electrical devices work like a circuit breaker in a home that shuts off power when trouble occurs, with the added benefit of automatically reenergizing a power line if it is temporarily interrupted to keep power safely flowing to customers. The company also removed overhanging limbs near more than 1,300 miles of JCP&L power lines and in targeted areas to address tree damage and trimming in areas of the system impacted during severe weather. This tree trimming work supplemented JCP&L’s ongoing vegetation management program, conducted by certified forestry contractors under the company’s direction on a four-year cycle.
  • Distribution automation – Customers will benefit from installation of technology that can automatically detect damage on the system, safely isolate it and reroute power flow around the damaged equipment, reducing the number of customers out of service until repairs are made. JCP&L also added communications equipment to aid real-time monitoring of the distribution system to promote more rapid service restoration.
  • Substation reliability enhancement – Equipment upgrades were made to protect and modernize substations, making them less susceptible to storm damage. These upgrades included flood mitigation efforts and the installation of two specially designed flood walls in 2020 to protect substations serving customers in Sussex and Essex Counties. JCP&L also purchased a new 115kV mobile substation that can be transported to a substation experiencing an outage location to help restore customers more rapidly while permanent repairs are made.

In 2021, JCP&L will continue its ongoing service reliability efforts with capital investments aimed at equipment upgrades, as well as its annual vegetation management efforts and continued inspection and maintenance work to help enhance system resiliency and keep power flowing to customers during severe weather.

JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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