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FirstEnergy Corp.'s Pennsylvania Electric Co. (Penelec) says it is spending approximately $105 million this year to expand and strengthen the power grid in its service territory.

Among the projects is the $28 million upgrading of distribution-circuit equipment by installing new sectionalizing devices, such as fuses and reclosers, to help limit the scope of outages. Penelec will also install radio-controlled switches that can be operated remotely from the company dispatch center, giving operators the ability to restore power quickly and efficiently.

Another project will involve the installation of equipment that is designed to help maintain proper voltage levels on the system. These upgrades will benefit, in particular, Penelec's industrial and large commercial customers that operate large motors, drives and other machinery.

The company says the projects are expected to have both localized and widespread benefits to 600,000 customers in its 31-county, 17,000 square-mile service area.

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