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Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., says it is spending approximately $55 million this year to enhance the electrical system and improve reliability in its service areas in western Maryland and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia.

Major projects scheduled include transmission improvements, building new distribution circuits, replacing underground cables, and inspecting and replacing utility poles. More than $23 million will be spent on a variety of transmission expansions and enhancements intended to increase the capacity of Potomac Edison's high-voltage transmission system.

Scheduled projects include the following:

  • Upgrading a 138 kV line in Frederick County, Md., at a cost of more than $3 million to ensure ongoing reliable service for more than 65,000 customers in Carroll, Frederick, Howard and Montgomery counties;
  • Adding high-voltage equipment and other improvements to a substation at a cost of $5 million to enhance service reliability in fast-growing Frederick County and the region;
  • Purchasing several spare high-voltage power transformers at a cost of more than $1 million to help reduce outage duration;
  • Upgrading equipment on about 90 distribution circuits throughout the service territory to enhance service reliability at a cost of $2.7 million;
  • Replacing underground distribution cables;
  • Dividing two large distribution circuits in the Germantown and Urbana areas to prepare for load expansion in high-growth areas and reduce outage frequency for more than 3,500 Potomac Edison customers in Frederick and Montgomery counties; and
  • Inspecting and proactively replacing distribution and sub-transmission utility poles in the Potomac Edison service area.

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