Mon Power installing new conductors near Morgantown - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Mon Power installing new conductors near Morgantown

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A transmission line upgrade from Mon Power might slow traffic in Morgantown for the next month, but it eventually will increase capacity, enhance service reliability to existing customers and handle future load growth in the Monongalia County area.

Mon Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. is installing new conductors on a 138,000-volt transmission line near Morgantown. The $5 million project is expected to be completed before the year's end. It includes three phases, and all the work will occur on existing right of way.

"This work will upgrade existing Mon Power facilities and benefit customers in the Morgantown area, a fast-growing region of our West Virginia service territory, without needing to acquire additional easements or build new sections of line," said Holly Kauffman, FirstEnergy's president of West Virginia Operations.

The transmission line upgrade is part of the company's previously announced plans to invest more than $110 million in 2014 in the Mon Power area on transmission and distribution projects designed to further improve service reliability. Major projects scheduled for 2014 include trimming trees, building new distribution circuits, replacing underground cables and inspecting and replacing equipment, including utility poles.

Work already is underway on the first phase of the project. It involves replacing about three miles of conductor on a transmission line between substations in Collins Ferry Road and Chaplin Hill Road in Morgantown. Crews also will replace nine existing wooden structures as part of the project, which is expected to be completed by mid-April.

The next phase will include reconductoring about half a mile of transmission line and replacing six wooden structures between the substation located on Collins Ferry Road and another Morgantown substation on West Run Road. That work is scheduled to start in mid-April and be completed by early June.

The final phase of the project will include the installation of new conductor on six miles of existing transmission line between the substation on West Run Road and a substation adjacent to the Lake Lynn Power Station. That work is expected to start in July and be completed by the end of the year.

Mon Power serves about 385,000 customers in 34 West Virginia counties.