Potomac Edison has reconstructed a 138-kV transmission line as part of a key project to strengthen its regional transmission network and help maintain reliable electric service for more than 65,000 customers in parts of Carroll, Frederick, Howard and Montgomery counties in Maryland.

As part of the $5.3 million project, crews installed higher capacity conductor on a 13-mile stretch of transmission line connecting a substation in Thurmont, located in Frederick County, and a substation in Union Bridge, in adjacent Carroll County.  Company personnel also replaced and upgraded equipment in both substations. 

"The new equipment is expected to enhance service reliability to our customers and increase the capacity of the transmission line to meet anticipated load growth in the region," said James A. Sears, Jr., president of FirstEnergy's Maryland Operations.  "The original scope of the project included reconstructing substations along with a transmission line, all at considerably more cost.  Through our merger with FirstEnergy in 2011, we were able to scale back the project by utilizing existing equipment located nearby, ultimately providing a high degree of reliability while saving our customers money in the process." 

The project is part of Potomac Edison's plan to spend $55 million in 2013 to further enhance the electrical system and reliability in its western Maryland and Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia service areas.  Major projects scheduled for this year include transmission improvements, building new distribution circuits, replacing underground cables, inspecting and replacing utility poles, and ongoing vegetation management programs.