Jun 19, 2023
Aerial Crew Conducts Insulator Replacement along Transmission Corridor
American Transmission Systems, Inc. (ATSI), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., is utilizing helicopters and ground crews to replace over 550 insulators and attachments along a 35-mile section of a
American Transmission Systems, Inc. (ATSI), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., is utilizing helicopters and ground crews to replace over 550 insulators and attachments along a 35-mile section of a transmission line in northeast Ohio. The aim of this project is to ensure the reliability and resilience of the regional electric grid.
The 138-kilovolt transmission line spans from a substation in Boardman Township to a substation in Stratton and passes through various townships in Mahoning, Columbiana, and Jefferson counties. Insulators play a crucial role in separating high-voltage transmission lines from support towers and maintaining the safe and consistent delivery of power.
Ohio Edison, also a FirstEnergy subsidiary, will be responsible for replacing a 10-mile portion of the insulators between Boardman Township and the Columbiana County line. The remaining replacements will be conducted by a contractor utilizing helicopters to transport line workers to the top of the transmission towers. The workers will then be harnessed and lowered down onto each structure to install the new insulators and attachments. The helicopter will also handle the transportation of new and old materials.
This aerial method proves more efficient compared to deploying ground crews, as it eliminates the need for access roads and large trucks and equipment. The insulator replacement project began in July and is expected to be completed by fall. While the work is ongoing, the transmission line has been de-energized, with customers being serviced through an alternate power feed to minimize disruption.
By upgrading the equipment along this high-voltage line, FirstEnergy aims to prevent potential power outages and ensure the continued safe and reliable delivery of electricity. This project is part of the multi-year initiative called Energizing the Future, which focuses on upgrading the transmission system with advanced equipment and technologies to strengthen the power grid and minimize customer outages.
FirstEnergy has dedicated over $10 billion to the Energizing the Future initiative since 2014. With 10 electric distribution companies, the company serves customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland, and New York. Their transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines connecting the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.