Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) plans to spend $357 million in 2018 on infrastructure projects and other work to enhance customer reliability across its 13-county northern and central New Jersey service area. Over the past 10 years, the company has invested more than $3 billion to strengthen the durability and resiliency of its electric transmission and distribution systems.
Major projects scheduled for 2018 include replacing remote-controlled substation equipment used to monitor and respond to grid conditions and replacing 34.5 kilovolt (kV) substation circuit breakers. Other scheduled work includes upgrading distribution circuit breakers and more than 90 circuit upgrades.
“Our infrastructure work and inspections enhance the reliability of our electric system, further minimizing the duration and frequency of service interruptions our customers might experience,” said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L. “In 2017, on average, JCP&L customers experienced about one outage lasting less than two hours in duration, which is better than the reliability standards established by the state utility commission.”
JCP&L projects scheduled for 2018 include:
- Replacing 40 automated control units at various substations that can be operated remotely from a company dispatch center at a cost of $7.3 million. The equipment provides operators the ability to restore power more quickly and efficiently than if a crew was needed to investigate the problem.
- Enhancing security systems at seven substations at a cost of $14.3 million.
- Completing underground and overhead circuit improvements in Morris County at a cost of $10.3 million. The work includes replacing cable, enhancing connection points where two circuits join, and relocating transformers.
- Replacing 24 substation circuit breakers to automatically disconnect from the system when a problem occurs at a cost of $6.6 million to help reduce the length of power outages and the number of customers affected.
- Upgrading more than 90 circuits at a cost of $4.7 million. Work includes adding remote-control devices to automatically restore service, installing animal guards on poles and in substations to limit the number of outages, installing lightning arrestors to help protect the system from stormy weather, and proactively replacing poles, crossarms and wire, as needed.
- Upgrading and replacing distribution oil-filled circuit breakers with newer more efficient equipment.
- Adding new equipment to increase capacity at a substation in Ocean County
- Installing new “smart” equipment at 54 sites on the distribution system that can automatically restore customers quicker should an outage occur.
- Upgrading remote control equipment and adding new circuits to help add redundancy in Morris and Monmouth counties.
In 2017, JCP&L spent about $308 million on large and small transmission and distribution projects, including building new transmission lines, installing voltage-regulating equipment and automated controls.