MORRISTOWN, NJ — Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) has completed inspections and projects across its 13-county service area, including Monmouth County, to enhance customer reliability in preparation for the summer season.

The work included upgrading transmission and substation equipment, upgrading circuits and trimming trees along power lines.

Helicopter patrols are completing inspections on more than 780 miles of transmission lines located in the JCP&L area. The inspections are designed to look for damaged wire, broken cross arms, failed insulators, and other hardware problems not easily detected from the ground.  Any potential reliability issues identified during the inspection will be addressed. 

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On the ground, the inspections include using “thermovision” cameras to capture infrared images that can detect potential problems with equipment such as transformers and capacitors. By identifying hot spots, maintenance and repairs can be conducted prior to a power outage occurring.

“The heat and humidity of summer weather results in our customers using more air conditioning to stay cool,” said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L. “By proactively inspecting and maintaining our equipment, we help ensure system reliability to meet this increased electrical load when temperatures climb and customers depend on us to stay comfortable.”

Crews also are finishing work on several projects in the JCP&L service area designed to help enhance the reliability of the electric system in time for the summer, including: 

  • Replacing 12 – 34.5 kilovolt (kV) circuit breakers at substations in Bridgewater, Milford, Old Bridge, Robbinsville, Summit and Toms River.
  • Upgrading 230 kV line relay protection systems at substations in Lakewood and South River.
  • Replacing a 230-kV transformer at a substation in Morristown.
  • Upgrading a transformer bank to add capacity at a substation in Riverdale.
  • Replacing and installing updated equipment along 17 major circuits.  

Tree trimming is another key to preparing JCP&L’s system to meet the rigors of summer operations by maintaining proper clearances around electrical systems and helping to protect against tree-related outages.  

JCP&L tree contractors have trimmed approximately 1,300 circuit miles of power lines since January and expect to trim another 2,100 miles by year end. The tree trimming work in 2018 includes more than $3 million to remove dead and dying ash trees affected by the Emerald Ash Borer before they can cause damage to JCP&L’s electrical system.

For updated company information, including hot weather tips, customers are urged to visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.

In addition to the work being done by company employees, summer also is a time when roofers, home builders, lawn service workers and other contractors work long hours. To help stay safe around electrical equipment while on the job, FirstEnergy offers important tips at www.firstenergycorp.com/contractorsafety

JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE). JCP&L serves 1.1 million New Jersey customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren. Follow JCP&L on Twitter @JCP_L, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL, or online at www.jcp-l.com.

FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence.  Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York.  The company's transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.  Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorpor online at www.firstenergycorp.com.