PPL (NYSE:PPL) subsidiary PPL Electric Utilities has chosen a route for a new 230-kV line that is part of a project to improve electric service in northeast Pennsylvania and the Poconos.
In addition to the line and three new substations, the company will rebuild about 20 miles of an existing 69-kV power line that runs from the Peckville area in Lackawanna County to Honesdale in Wayne County, the company added Oct. 11.
The new power lines and substations will serve 250,000 people in parts of Lackawanna, Monroe, Wayne, Pike and Luzerne counties, the company said, adding that the project is part of more than $3bn in infrastructure improvements planned throughout its 29-county service territory.
In describing the route, the company split it into three sections: Jenkins to West Pocono, West Pocono to North Pocono and North Pocono to Paupack.
Specifically, the route starts at the PPL Electric Utilities Jenkins substation in Plains Township in Luzerne County and ends at the new West Pocono substation for a total length – of this section – of 14.7 miles. The route goes from the new West Pocono substation in Buck Township in Luzerne County and ends at the North Pocono substation for a total length – of this section – of 20.6 miles. Finally, the route extends from the North Pocono substation in Covington Township in Lackawanna County and ends at the new Paupack substation in Paupack Township for a total length – of this section – of 21.9 miles.
The project will cost an estimated $200m, according to the company’s website.
Based on its studies of existing electrical facilities and customer power usage, the company said it has to rebuild the existing 69-kV line from Peckville to Honesdale by 2014. The new substations and related 69-kV short connector lines, as well as the new 230-kV line, are expected to be placed in service in phases, starting in 2014 and running until 2017.
PPL Electric Utilities will begin the process of submitting the required applications to Pennsylvania regulators for approval after additional public open houses are held to take comments on the chosen route.
The company said it has scheduled three public open houses to get public input on Oct. 25 in Gouldsboro; Oct. 26 in Newfoundland; and Oct. 27 in Thornhurst.
“Our goal is to minimize impacts on people and the environment to the extent possible,” David Bonenberger, general manager-transmission operations with PPL, said in the statement. “These new facilities will reduce the number of power outages experienced by our customers, and also reduce the duration of outages caused by falling trees or severe weather.”