FirstEnergy Begins 46 kV Transmission Line Work in Altoona

FirstEnergy Corp.’s FE transmission subsidiary, Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission (MAIT), has commenced the construction of a new transmission line in Altoona, PA. This new line is part of the company’s ongoing Energizing the Future investment program.

Notably, the cost of constructing the one-mile new transmission line is anticipated to be around $4 million. This new 46-kilovolt (kV) line is planned to link Penelec's Westfall Substation near 17th Avenue to its 20th Street Substation near Boyer Candy. A drilling contractor already started the work a month ago with crews currently setting the poles. The construction activity is likely to be completed in mid-August.


Currently, the 20th Street Substation and the distribution lines from the same are provided with services by a lone transmission line, and repairs on that line could result in lengthy power outages. Thus, the new transmission line will be a second source of electricity for the 20th Street Substation. Further, this will provide flexibility to the transmission and distribution system for generating uninterrupted power supply and also fixing any glitches caused by storms, vehicle accidents or equipment issues.

Per management, the project will create immediate benefits for the company’s nearly 3,000 residential and commercial customers in the downtown area. The new line will save time to mend damages in the transmission line by temporarily switching to a different power source.

Capital Plans

In the past several years, FirstEnergy aimed at enhancing and expanding its regulated transmission capabilities through its Energizing the Future plan. The company is replacing the existing transmission lines, constructing new lines, incorporating new, smart technology into the grid and outfitting dozens of substations with new equipment and advanced security features.

These upgrades will increase reliability across the FirstEnergy transmission system. It aims to spend $17.6 billion for strengthening its transmission and distribution network during the 2018-2023 time period.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

In the past year, shares of the company have lost 6% compared with the industry’s 9.4% fall.


Key Picks

A few better-ranked stocks from the same industry are Fortis Inc. FTS, DTE Energy Company DTE and Korea Electric Power Corporation KEP, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Fortis’ 2020 earnings has moved 1.04% north over the past 60 days. It has a trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 6.28%, on average.

The long-term earnings growth rate for DTE Energy is pegged at 5.53%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings has moved 0.46% up over the past 60 days.

Korea Electric Power’s long-term earnings growth rate stands at 5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings has moved 27.78% up over the past 60 days.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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