FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Mon Power announced several improvements to systems in north central West Virginia.  

The power company has enhanced the distribution systems to ultimately reduce service interruptions for 4,580 customers.  

“These strategic improvements support our efforts to provide safe and reliable electric service to our customers, helping to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages across our service area,” said Jim Myers, president of First Energy’s West Virginia operations 

Lineman working on power lines
Courtesy: First Energy

Projects included the construction of new lines to connect customers to a backup power feed for faster service restoration, the installation of voltage regulators to improve power restoration capabilities, and replacement of overhead equipment to enhance service reliability for customers. 

One of the biggest projects was in Marion County. Workers constructed a new power line tying 583 customers in the Bunners Ridge area to an alternate circuit.  

“We call it a tie line,” Will Boye a First Energy and Mon Power spokesperson said. “It connects a circuit which serves a neighborhood or neighborhoods, and it connects to another circuit which is a backup power feed in the event of an outage. So, anytime we can install one of those. That’s an enhancement that were excited about.” 

In the event of a power outage, customers in that area now have a second power feed that can give them power until the problem is solved on the original circuit.  

Other work completed includes:  

• In Doddridge and Monongalia counties, improvements to existing lines that tie customers to alternate circuits, providing backup power in the event of a power outage. This will help reduce the duration of power outages for 227 customers in the West Union area and 559 customers in the Toms Run area. 2  

• In Braxton and Calhoun counties, the installation of new bidirectional voltage regulators to improve power restoration capabilities for approximately 153 customers in the Frametown area and 120 customers in the Grantsville area. When customers experience an outage, these regulators help ensure that backup power from an alternate circuit flows in the proper direction.  

• In Marion, Mineral and Wetzel counties, the installation of new overhead equipment, such as crossarms and insulators, to enhance reliability for 1,554 customers in the Hundred area, 1,054 customers in the Elk Garden area and 330 customers in the Doolin Run area 

Mon Power does an analysis every year to find out how they can improve their service for customers.  

The power company is also working on additional reliability projects that are scheduled for completion in late 2021 and early 2022. They are continuing to clear vegetation around nearly 5,700 miles of power lines as part of its 2021 tree trimming program. Maintaining proper clearances around electrical equipment and removing dead or diseased trees can help reduce the frequency and duration of power outages, especially those due to severe weather.