A new $2.5 million substation in West Akron has been put into service by Akron-based Ohio Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp.



The substation, located on Sourek Road, was built in less than eight months using a standard design that was more cost effective and helped to expedite construction. The substation will enhance customer service reliability and help meet future demand for electricity in the area, the electric company said.



The project included using precast concrete foundations, a large transformer, switching gear, and circuit breakers. In addition, animal protection devices made out of polymer material were installed on key parts of the equipment to help reduce outages caused by squirrels and other animals.



The substation is connected to the existing electric system in the Akron area using two new underground circuits that were built as part of this project. Specialized communications equipment also was installed at the substation to remotely monitor operations. If needed, circuit breakers or other relay devices can be reset automatically to help reduce the duration of an outage.



“The new substation is designed to enhance service reliability for more than 5,000 customers in West Akron, while helping to prepare our system for future load growth,” said Randall A. Frame, regional president of Ohio Edison. “This project is the fourth modular substation we have completed in the Ohio Edison area over the past several years."



Ohio Edison built and placed into service a similar substation in Bath Township. In addition, another substation is under construction in the Brunswick area and is expected to be completed later this year.



The substation project is part of FirstEnergy’s previously announced plan to invest more than $383 million in 2015 on distribution and transmission infrastructure projects to enhance service reliability and support economic growth in Ohio Edison’s service area. More than $233 million of the total will be spent on transmission-related projects owned by American Transmission Systems, Incorporated, a FirstEnergy transmission company.