Shale gas boom drives $6M in new FirstEnergy transmission

Dive Brief:

  • The shale gas boom drove $6 million in new transmission projects recently completed by FirstEnergy Corp., and the company says it is considering additional system upgrades across its Ohio Edison service area.
  • New facilities, including a high-voltage substation and transmission lines, were completed to accommodate new natural gas processing and other energy-intensive operations in Ohio's Utica Shale region. 
  • The new customer facilities are projected to ultimately generate about 125 MW of load growth, the equivalent of adding more than 60,000 new homes to Ohio Edison's system.

Dive Insight:

Despite low gas and oil prices, the American shale gas boom continues in earnest. And with the spread of drilling sites and processing centers, the need for power has grown as well.

"The shale gas industry is creating new jobs and helping restore economic prosperity to portions of our service territory," said Randall Frame, regional president of Ohio Edison. "Part of the gas industry's success relies on its ability to access safe, affordable and reliable electric power, and we are committed to meeting the demanding requirements of this fast-growing segment."

Recently completed projects include a new $3 million substation upgrade in southern Columbiana County to serve Utica East Ohio's Kensington processing facility. FirstEnergy said the new substation will help reduce the number and duration of power outages in the area and will also provide greater operational flexibility to manage the local electric system in light of the significant power needs of the Utica East Ohio facility.

FirstEnergy also recently announced the completion of a 3.5-mile, 138-kV transmission line to serve a Pennant Midstream natural gas processing facility in Springfield Township in Mahoning County. The nearly $3 million transmission project connects with an existing 138-kV transmission line in Mahoning County and allows for future expansion at the Pennant facility, which separates natural gas into dry and liquid components and uses large amounts of electricity.

The company is also evaluating additional transmission upgrades as new service requests from shale gas developers continue throughout the Ohio Edison territory. The projects are part of $250 million in regulated transmission investments identified through 2015 to account for 1,100 MW of proposed electric load growth in 2015 through 2019.

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Filed Under: Transmission & Distribution
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