July 13, 2018 – Jersey Central Power & Light announced that it has filed a four year plan with NJ Board of Public Utilities to improve its distribution system. The plan, named JCP&L Reliability Plus, calls for about $400 million in targeted investments aimed to enhance the reliability and resiliency of its distribution system against severe weather and reducing the frequency and duration of power 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."
According to JCP&L, the key 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. This work will make JCP&L's electric distribution system less susceptible to storm damage and enhance resiliency by addressing the primary cause of outages during storm events – tree damage. JCP&L will also be installing new TripSaver II devices to reduce the number of momentary outages that become longer-duration outages.
Substation reliability enhancement – Protecting JCP&L substations from storm damage by implementing flood mitigation measures, upgrading distribution substation equipment, enhancing substation fencing and acquiring four mobile substations. These projects will increase the distribution system's resiliency, operational flexibility, safety and security.
Distribution automation – Installing new technology that can pinpoint and isolate damage on the system, which quickly decreases the number of customers affected by an outage.
Underground system improvements – Accelerating replacement of underground cable and submersible transformers with new equipment. These projects will increase customer service reliability and resiliency by reducing the frequency and duration of outages and enhancing current operations.
Obviously, we are pleased to see planned investments and enhancement to the distribution system, the source of most of the power outages. We will be very interested in seeing the actual details of the plan as they become known.