FirstEnergy Corp. spent more than $23 million on service reliability upgrades in its Toledo Edison service territory in northwest Ohio in 2013.  These investments are expected to improve the flexibility and increase the durability of the company's network of transmission and distribution lines throughout the area.

"The numerous projects completed by our dedicated workforce last year demonstrate our ongoing commitment to enhance the service we provide to our customers in northwest Ohio," said Linda Moss, regional president of Toledo Edison.  "These investments help us enhance day-to-day service and prepare for future load growth."

The largest project completed in Toledo Edison territory this year, at $12 million, was the Fulton Substation, a high voltage transmission substation designed to bolster available voltage west of Toledo, provide added flexibility in operating the transmission system and allow for load growth in the area.  This project was built and is owned by Toledo Edison's transmission-owning affiliate, American Transmission Systems Incorporated.

Other major projects completed in 2013 included:

  • Upgrading thousands of pieces of equipment on distribution circuits in Defiance, Genoa, Perrysburg, Rossford, Sylvania and Wauseon.  The improvements include adding and replacing lightning protection, insulators, crossarms, braces, grounds, and animal guards on key distribution lines.
  • Inspecting and replacing distribution and sub-transmission utility poles in Clyde, Perrysburg, Wauseon and areas south of Pioneer.  This inspection process is conducted on a 10-year cycle.  
  • Replacing and upgrading equipment in the downtown Toledo underground electrical network.  While underground facilities are generally protected from severe weather events, if an outage does occur this equipment can take additional time to restore when compared to traditional overhead facilities.
  • Continuing Toledo Edison's ongoing vegetation management program to trim trees, maintain proper clearances, and harden distribution facilities against tree-related storm damage.  Nearly 1,400 miles of circuits were cleared in 2013, in addition to storm-related tree removals.  Communities in which this work took place include Defiance, Maumee, Perrysburg, Rossford, Sylvania and Toledo.

Also in 2013, FirstEnergy began offering a free smartphone app and text alerts for outage and account management, providing customers with more information and greater flexibility.