Jersey Central Power & Light to Invest Nearly $200 Million in 2012 to Enhance Customers’ Service Reliability

MORRISTOWN, N.J., Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) plans to invest nearly $200 million this year on projects designed to improve service reliability and help meet the increasing demand for electricity in northern and central New Jersey.

“The substantial investments we plan to make this year and in the future are part of JCP&L’s ongoing efforts to improve the quality of service we provide our customers,” said Don Lynch, president of JCP&L. “We have targeted projects such as replacing wires and poles, installing new fuses, adding new equipment, and trimming trees, all to improve service to our customers.”

The planned reliability projects include:

Investing more than $2 million to upgrade more than 40 distribution circuits in a variety of communities to enhance service reliability. The improvements – adding animal guards, spacer cable, fuses and installing new wire – are expected to reduce outages on key distribution lines that serve nearly 90,000 customers in northern and central New Jersey.
Inspecting and proactively replacing distribution and sub-transmission utility poles that are reaching the end of their service life. This inspection process is conducted on a 10-year cycle. Inspections will begin in the spring, with replacement work scheduled to be completed throughout the fall.
Replacing older underground distribution cables. While underground facilities are generally protected from severe weather events, this equipment can take additional time to restore as compared to traditional overhead facilities.
Completing Lake Iliff substation in Andover Township, Sussex County, which will provide additional circuits designed to shorten the duration of outages. The project, which will cost more than $4 million, is slated for completion this summer.
Finishing construction of a new substation and distribution facilities to improve reliability and reduce the duration of potential outages by providing an additional source of electricity for customers in Tewksbury, Califon and surrounding towns. The new substation and distribution network, estimated to cost more than $4 million, will be energized this fall.
Installing distribution capacitors to help maintain proper voltage levels, which will benefit JCP&L’s industrial and large commercial customers that operate large motors, drives and machinery.
Constructing a new distribution circuit to serve Thor Labs in Newton, and a new transformer foundation at the Larabee substation in Howell.
Continuing to invest in vegetation management to trim trees, maintain proper clearances and mitigate potential damage to distribution facilities from falling tree limbs.
JCP&L recently completed a system-wide program to repair or replace more than 10,000 streetlights.

Since 2001, JCP&L has invested more than $1.6 billion in capital improvements to its distribution network. In addition, in 2011 JCP&L invested $165 million to repair and replace equipment damaged by Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm.

JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in 13 counties in New Jersey.

FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies comprise the nation’s largest investor-owned electric system. Its diverse generating fleet features non-emitting nuclear, scrubbed base load coal, natural gas, and pumped-storage hydro and other renewables, and has a total generating capacity of nearly 23,000 megawatts.

Forward-Looking Statements: This news release includes forward-looking statements based on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. These statements include declarations regarding management’s intents, beliefs and current expectations. These statements typically contain, but are not limited to, the terms “anticipate,” “potential,” “expect,” “believe,” “estimate” and similar words. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially due to: the speed and nature of increased competition in the electric utility industry, the impact of the regulatory process on the pending matters before FERC and in the various states in which we do business including, but not limited to, matters related to rates, the status of the PATH project in light of the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., (PJM) direction to suspend work on the project pending review of its planning process, its re-evaluation of the need for the project and the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of any related capital expenditures, business and regulatory impacts from ATSI’s realignment into PJM, economic or weather conditions affecting future sales and margins, changes in markets for energy services, changing energy and commodity market prices and availability, financial derivative reforms that could increase our liquidity needs and collateral costs, the continued ability of FirstEnergy’s regulated utilities to collect transition and other costs, operation and maintenance costs being higher than anticipated, other legislative and regulatory changes, and revised environmental requirements, including possible GHG emission, water intake and coal combustion residual regulations, the potential impacts of any laws, rules or regulations that ultimately replace CAIR, including CSAPR which was stayed by the courts on December 30, 2011, and the effects of the EPA’s MATS rules, the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures that may arise in connection with any litigation including NSR litigation or potential regulatory initiatives or rulemakings (including that such expenditures could result in our decision to shut down or idle certain generating units), the uncertainty associated with the company’s plan to retire its older unscrubbed regulated and competitive fossil units, including the impact on vendor commitments and PJM’s review of the company’s plans, adverse regulatory or legal decisions and outcomes with respect to our nuclear operations (including, but not limited to the revocation or non-renewal of necessary licenses, approvals or operating permits by the NRC including as a result of the incident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant), issues that could result from our continuing investigation and analysis of the indications of cracking in the plant shield building at Davis-Besse, adverse legal decisions and outcomes related to Met-Ed’s and Penelec’s ability to recover certain transmission costs through their transmission service charge riders, the continuing availability of generating units and changes in their ability to operate at or near full capacity, replacement power costs being higher than anticipated or inadequately hedged, the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency mandates, changes in customers’ demand for power, including but not limited to, changes resulting from the implementation of state and federal energy efficiency mandates, the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic goals, FirstEnergy’s ability to improve electric commodity margins and the impact of, among other factors, the increased cost of fuel and fuel transportation on such margins, the ability to experience growth in the distribution business, the changing market conditions that could affect the value of assets held in FirstEnergy’s NDTs, pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries to make additional contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger than currently anticipated, the impact of changes to material accounting policies, the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with FirstEnergy’s financing plan, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries, changes in general economic conditions affecting FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries, interest rates and any actions taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect FirstEnergy’s and its subsidiaries’ access to financing or their costs and increase requirements to post additional collateral to support outstanding commodity positions, LOCs and other financial guarantees, the continuing uncertainty of the national and regional economy and its impact on major industrial and commercial customers of FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries, issues concerning the soundness of financial institutions and counterparties with which FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries do business, issues arising from the completed merger of FirstEnergy and Allegheny Energy and the ongoing coordination of their combined operations including FirstEnergy’s ability to maintain relationships with customers, employees and suppliers, as well as the ability to continue to successfully integrate the businesses and realize cost savings and other synergies, the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in FirstEnergy’s and its applicable subsidiaries’ SEC filings, and other similar factors. The foregoing review of factors should not be construed as exhaustive. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor assess the impact of any such factor on FirstEnergy’s business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. FirstEnergy expressly disclaims any current intention to update, except as required by law, any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

http://www.firstenergycorp.com

SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.
CONTACT: Ron Morano, +1-973-401-8097

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