Jersey Central Power & Light plans to spend $251 million this year to further expand and strengthen its infrastructure in its 13-county service area. The spending on upgrades represents a $50 million increase compared to 2013.

Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ

Major projects will include the completion and planning of new transmission lines in Monmouth, Ocean and Morris counties, the completion of a smart grid modernization project in Morris County and the construction of a new substation in Hunterdon County.  The utility also will upgrade 118 circuits, add new circuits and inspect and replace utility poles while also trimming trees systemwide.

"Every year, we analyze data and dedicate the necessary resources that will help us continually improve our system to exceed customer expectations.  We want to deliver the quality service our customers expect day in and day out," said Ron Morano, JCP&L spokesman.  "That involves spending on the infrastructure and implementing new technologies to improve the system and prepare it for future growth."

Planned expenditures include the following:

  • Upgrading more than 118 distribution circuits at a cost of nearly $6 million in a variety of communities to enhance service reliability. The improvements -- adding animal guards, spacer cable, fuses, reclosers and adding new wire -- are expected to reduce outages on distribution circuits that serve 184,000 customers in northern and central New Jersey.
  • Initiating a Department of Energy $7 million smart grid technology modernization project on three circuits serving Bernards Township, Harding Township and Morristown.
  • Implementing additional recloser technologies to allow the automatic transfer of customers to other circuits, to minimize outage impacts and reduce restoration times.
  • Inspecting 233 circuits starting at substations to proactively identify and replace equipment.
  • Replacing underground distribution cables.
  • Performing infrared scans on 300 circuits to detect equipment in need of replacement and proactively perform work.
  • Inspecting and proactively replacing, if needed, more than 34,000 utility poles.

JCP&L also will enhance its transmission system with projects totaling about $150 million in northern and central New Jersey including:

  • Completing the new 115 kilovolt (kV) line between the Englishtown substation in Manalapan and the Wyckoff substation in Hightstown. The $23 million project also includes the addition of four 115 kV breakers within the substation.
  • Completing construction on a new $10 million substation in West Amwell to provide flexibility and enhance reliability in Hunterdon County and the Hopewell area of Mercer County.
  • Installing equipment to upgrade the Manalapan substation in Monmouth County including a new transformer, a new 230 kV breaker and constructing two new distribution circuits.
  • Planning and designing a new $13.5 million, 34.5 kV line between the Montville and Riverdale substations in Morris County to support future load growth.
  • Planning and designing a new $19 million, 230 kV line between the Whippany and Montville substations to support future load growth and enhance reliability.
  • Planning and designing a new $53 million, 230 kV line between the Oceanview substation in Neptune and the Larabee substation in Howell.

JCP&L has spent more than $2 billion in capital improvements since 2001.