Morristown, N.J. – With the upcoming hot summer months expected to produce higher electric demand, Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) has completed numerous projects and inspections across its 13-county service area that are intended to enhance service reliability. The work included upgrading transmission and substation equipment, upgrading circuits and modernizing distribution equipment, and trimming trees along nearly 1,500 miles of distribution and transmission lines.

“Our annual planning and analysis includes system upgrades and repairs targeted to enhance reliability to benefit our customers prior to the start of the summer season,” said James Fakult, president of JCP&L. “The work completed to date increases the reliability and resiliency of our system for the summer months when customers use more electricity and allows for future load growth.”

Helicopter patrols are completing inspections on more than 750 miles of transmission lines located in the JCP&L area. The inspections are designed to look for damaged wire, broken cross arms, failed insulators, and other hardware problems not easily detected from the ground. Any potential reliability issues identified during the inspection will be addressed immediately.

On the ground, the summer readiness inspections include using “thermovision” cameras to capture infrared images that can detect potential problems with JCP&L substation equipment such as transformers and capacitors. By identifying hot spots, maintenance and repairs can be conducted prior to a power outage occurring.

Some of the JCP&L projects that have been completed include:

• Installing a new 230 kilovolt transformer and breaker at the Raritan River Substation in Sayreville to increase transmission capacity in the Middlesex County area.
• Upgrading a 34.5 kilovolt cable in Millburn Township to increase transmission capacity and add resiliency in the Essex County area.
• Upgrading distribution cables at the Cozy Lake Substation in Oak Ridge to enhance reliability in the Morris County area.
• Modernizing circuits in Blairstown Township, Lebanon Township, Mansfield Township, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township, Tewksbury, Washington Township and Wayne Township by implementing automatic circuit switching and ties to transfer customers to adjacent circuits and minimize outages.
• Adding nearly 100 recloser devices that automatically restore customers to service following momentary power outages.
• Replacing underground cables in Manchester Township and Netcong.
• Upgrading feeder cables at substations.
• Upgrading 21 distribution circuits including installing new wire, animal guards, lightning arrestors fuses, spacer cable brackets and switches to limit the frequency and duration of power outages.

The completed projects are part of JCP&L’s previously announced $251 million infrastructure investment for 2014.

JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE). JCP&L serves 1.1 million New Jersey customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.