) continues to advance with its large-scale infrastructure
enhancement ventures. The company completed a new transmission line
and a substation in Armstrong County, Pa. This new transmission
line and substation will deliver reliable power services to its
West Penn customers in Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler and
The substation and the transmission line received approval from the
regional transmission regulatory body - Pennsylvania, New Jersey
and Maryland Interconnection, LLC ("PJM").
As part of a $31 million infrastructure initiative, the project
entailed building a 345 Kilovolt (KV) substation adjacent to
FirstEnergy's idled Armstrong Power Plant. The key component in the
overall construction process was the installation of a large
transformer that converts the power from 345-kV to 138-kV while
moving along the transmission system.
Moreover, a separate control room was constructed comprising
transmission controls earlier situated at the Armstrong Plant.
Also, four new circuit breakers were added to the existing
substation located on the active plant property. In addition, the
project involved creating a new 1.6 mile portion of the 345 KV line
linking the new substation to a current transmission line operating
between Homer City and Handsome Lake.
FirstEnergy has been proactively shelling out money in projects
aimed at strengthening its transmission capabilities since last
year. The company further intends to take a substantial leap
forward with the modernization plans and has already directed a
bulk of its capital spending to refurbishment of the utility-scale
The company expects to invest roughly $4.2 billion on expanding its
transmission coverage for the period between 2014 and 2017.
Currently, FirstEnergy's asset development efforts in its service
territories are in full swing. The company announced the near
completion of a new 69 KV transmission line and reconstruction of
another that will connect the Reading and Muhlenberg Township
substations in Berks County.
FirstEnergy is poised to benefit from its numerous upgrade
initiatives that will boost service quality and lead to retention
of a healthy customer footprint. Meanwhile, strong PJM auction
prices in 2014 compared to 2013 will further act as tailwinds to
FirstEnergy's growth prospects.
Currently, FirstEnergy sports a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors
looking for better-ranked utility players may consider
The Empire District Electric Company
Consolidated Edison, Inc.
Wisconsin Energy Corp.
). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research?
Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days.
Click to get this free report
WISC ENERGY CP (WEC): Free Stock Analysis
CONSOL EDISON (ED): Free Stock Analysis Report
FIRSTENERGY CP (FE): Free Stock Analysis Report
EMPIRE DISTRICT (EDE): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.