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FirstEnergy Corp. plans to invest nearly $300 million in two Pennsylvania territories this year for service reliability infrastructure upgrades. The company has previously announced major investments in New Jersey, Ohio territories and other Pennsylvania territories.

More than $71 million will be invested in Pennsylvania Power Co.'s (Penn Power) service area, according to FirstEnergy. Penn Power serves more than 160,000 customers in all or parts of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Lawrence and Mercer counties in western Pennsylvania.

FirstEnergy says significant projects scheduled for Penn Power this year include almost $14 million worth of smart meter installations, circuit and utility pole inspections and replacements, addition of protective devices, and ongoing tree trimming. The company notes that about $37 million will be for transmission-related projects built and owned by American Transmission Systems Inc., a FirstEnergy transmission affiliate.

Pennsylvania Electric Co. (Penelec), FirstEnergy adds, will see $228 million in infrastructure upgrades. Penelec serves approximately 600,000 customers in 31 Pennsylvania counties.

The company notes that projects in this area include upgrading 142 existing distribution circuits, continuing tree-trimming work, and inspecting and replacing utility poles. Other projects will include the installation of automated and remote control devices designed to enhance Penelec's electric system and reliability.

FirstEnergy reports that about $49 million will be for transmission-related projects built and owned by FirstEnergy transmission affiliate Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Co.

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