NEW JERSEY – Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) recently announced a new program that aims to enhance reliability and strengthen its distribution to customers against severe weather. The program, JCP&L Reliability Plus, is a four-year infrastructure plan filed New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) that also hopes to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages.
JCP&L’s new program invests $400 million on nearly 4,000 enhancements to go above and beyond regular enhancements to service reliability and resiliency.
The program will make improvements to overhead and underground distribution lines, include new equipment to reduce the frequency and duration of outages, and add vegetation management to reduce the potential for tree damage, a primary cause of outages.
“The special focus of this program is to limit damage during severe weather events,” said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L. “The new equipment, along with enhanced vegetation management, builds on our ongoing efforts to ensure customer service reliability and resiliency.”
Reliability Plus was created following a detailed analysis of JCP&L’s distribution system, as well as lessons learned from the restoration efforts following recent severe weather events.
JCP&L officials predict the program to have economic benefits of $1.9 billion over the estimated life of the new equipment, with only a 25 cents initial increase on the average customer’s monthly bill.
JCP&L Reliability Plus projects include:
- Overhead circuit reliability and resiliency
- Conducting enhanced vegetation management to remove trees and limbs overhanging the distribution system in certain areas, as well as trees affected by the emerald ash borer near JCP&L power lines and equipment.
- Installing TripSaver II devices to reduce the number of momentary outages that become longer-duration outages.
- Substation reliability enhancement – flood mitigation measures, upgrading distribution substation equipment, enhancing substation fencing and acquiring four mobile substations.
- Distribution automation – Installing new technology that can pinpoint and isolate damage on the system.
- Underground system improvements – Accelerating replacement of underground cable and submersible transformers with new equipment.
For more information, visit firstenergycorp.com.