MORRISTOWN, N.J., Jan. 20, 2016 -- As a result of an ongoing infrastructure investment campaign, Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) in 2015 posted its best service reliability numbers in 13 years, which included an 18 percent reduction in the number of outages customers experienced the previous year. Last year, JCP&L customers overall averaged less than one outage for the year, with the average outage time being a little over an hour in duration.
"Over the past 10 years our company has invested more than $2.5 billion on enhancing our electric system, and the work resulted in 2015 producing the best service reliability our customers have experienced in more than a decade," said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L. "Whether it's additional upgrades to our transmission and distribution systems, training new line and substation workers, or doing ongoing tree trimming work, we will continue with our efforts to enhance service reliability for our customers."
In 2015, JCP&L spent more than $247 million on key projects to enhance customer service reliability, including:
- Beginning construction of a $37 million, multi-year substation expansion project to install voltage regulating equipment at a substation in Wharton in Morris County.
- Completing construction of a $13 million expansion of a substation in West Amwell in Hunterdon County.
- Constructing a $7 million transmission line at a substation in Old Bridge in Middlesex County.
- Completing $6 million of equipment upgrades on 94 circuits across the company's 13 county service area.
- Trimming trees to maintain proper clearances along nearly 3,300 miles of power lines at a cost of approximately $24 million.
- Completing a $1.8 million transmission line from a substation in North Branch to a substation in Lebanon in Hunterdon County.
- Completing a $1.4 million upgrade of three 230-kilovolt circuit breakers at a substation in East Hanover in Morris County.
- Completing a $1 million transmission line in the Wharton area of Morris County.
- Constructing a new transmission line at a substation in Toms River in Ocean County.
- Upgrading protective relay devices at substations in Neptune in Ocean County.
Planning also is underway for the service reliability projects that will be completed in 2016, including new transmission lines and circuit upgrades.
JCP&L also teamed with Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, N.J., and Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, N.J., in 2015 to successfully reinstitute its Power Systems Institute Program to train the next generation of line and substation workers. The program combines classroom learning with hands-on training and students who successfully complete the program earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Electric Utility Technology. Recruiting efforts are underway for the next class that will begin school this fall. Information about the Power Systems Institute is available atwww.firstenergycorp.com/psi or by calling 800-829-6801.
In 2015, JCP&L was recognized as the "Business Leadership of the Year Honoree" by the New Jersey Conference of Mayors. The award recognized the company's continuing efforts to establish strong working relationships with mayors across its service territory.
JCP&L also continued to use several unique apps to more efficiently assess damage to the electrical system and dispatch crews to make repairs in the wake of major storm events. Employees in the field can use this new mobile device technology to automatically enter damage information into the company's outage management system which helps restore the most customers to service in the shortest amount of time.
JCP&L, a FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) subsidiary, 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.
Editor's Note: Photos of some of JCP&L's service reliability enhancements from 2015 are available for download on Flickr.