Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. (CEI), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., announced that its spend of approximately $152 million in 2013 is designed to further enhance the electrical system and reliability in northeast Ohio. Major projects scheduled for this year include rebuilding substations, continuing work on a large transmission line, building new distribution circuits, inspecting and replacing utility poles and ongoing vegetation management programs.

"The planned infrastructure projects are designed to help maintain our system on a day-to-day basis to benefit CEI customers now while helping prepare our system for future load growth," said John Skory, regional president of CEI.

CEI's 2013 reliability enhancements are expected to benefit customers throughout its service territory. The scheduled projects include:

  • Rebuilding portions of a major substation in Northfield. The overall cost for the project is more than $10 million.
  • Spending approximately $15 million to install new sub-transmission circuits in downtown Cleveland as part of a large-scale project designed to handle future load growth for the Cleveland Clinic.
  • Spending more than $10 million inspecting and replacing distribution and sub-transmission poles in northeast Ohio. This inspection process is conducted on a 10-year cycle. Inspections began in January, with replacement work scheduled to be performed throughout the year.
  • Relocating switching equipment from a substation in Wickliffe to another CEI substation nearby. The overall cost for the project is nearly $4 million.
  • Spending more than $7 million to complete a new 138-kV transmission line and substation in Geauga County designed to help ensure reliability and provide for future load growth.
  • Spending more than $13 million as part of CEI's ongoing vegetation management program to trim trees and maintain proper clearances to protect against tree-related storm damage. Some of the scheduled communities include Ashtabula, Bay Village, Cleveland, East Cleveland, Eastlake, Fairview Park, Lakewood, Mentor, North Olmsted, Parma, Parma Heights, Shaker Heights, Solon and Westlake.

If approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, approximately $20 million will be spent, mostly in the Geauga County area, as part of a U.S. Department of Energy Smart Grid grant program, including the installation of additional smart meters and sectionalizing technology designed to isolate and restore outages remotely.