Ohio center to modernize electric grid in six-state region
Image by FirstEnergy Corp.
FirstEnergy Corp. plans to expand its West Akron, Ohio, campus with the addition of a new 88,000-square-foot facility that will be used to evaluate, test and train staff on new, digital grid technologies, reports Cleveland.com.
The $37 million Center for Advanced Energy Technology will be designed to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
The center, for which a ground-breaking is planned this spring, will help the company modernize the electric grid in a six-state territory encompassing Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. Its technology will simulate real-world conditions, providing engineers and technicians with a hands-on environment for upgrading and maintaining the power grid.
The center is part of the company's "Energizing the Future" initiative, which over several years aims to upgrade transmission facilities with advanced equipment and technologies that reinforce the power grid and ultimately reduce the frequency and duration of power outages.
The facility will be staffed by about 25 FirstEnergy employees. Classroom space will offer training for about 50 people on new grid technologies, such as digital-relay devices used to remotely identify the location of an equipment failure. Employees also will be able to evaluate and test equipment to ensure it is in compliance with industry standards, including cybersecurity.