Pepco to upgrade two transmission circuits to resolve reliability woes

The Potomac Electric Power Company, in a Jan. 6 filing with District of Columbia regulators, said it intends to upgrade two transmission circuits in excess of 69 kV.

Specifically, Pepco intends to replace the existing conductor for two circuits with a larger conductor. The utility will also increase the voltage on one circuit from 138-kV to 230-kV, while maintaining 230-kV voltage in the other circuit.

“[T]he underground transmission project is necessary in order to maintain reliability of the electric system and to ensure the continuity of electricity supply to customers in the District of Columbia,” Pepco said.

The project consists of replacing the existing conductor with a larger conductor for both circuits. Pepco also said it intends to increase the voltage of Circuit 13851, an approximately 11.1-mile underground circuit between the Buzzard Point generating station located in the southwest portion of the District, and Pepco’s Ritchie Substation No. 123, located in Seat Pleasant, Md., from 138-kV to 230-kV. Pepco also intends to replace the conductor for the Anacostia River crossing portion of the existing 230-kV underground transmission Circuit 23016, about one mile, and to continue to operate it at 230-kV voltage.

PJM Interconnection has identified this project as the solution to resolve reliability problems arising from thermal overloads and the retirement of the Buzzard Point generating station in the District. Pepco also said the capacity upgrade and equipment of these transmission circuits are required to meet the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s “N-1-1 Reliability Standard TPL-003-0” for the Bulk Electric System facilities.

The proposed construction start date for the capacity increase of the Anacostia River crossing portion of Circuit 23016 is scheduled to begin Sept. 15, while the proposed construction start date for the capacity and voltage upgrade of the Buzzard Point to Ritchie Circuit 13851 is slated to begin on March 14, 2013.

Construction on the Anacostia River crossing portion of Circuit 23016 is scheduled for completion in March 2013, while construction on the Buzzard Point to Ritchie Circuit 13851 is set to be complete in May 2014.

No additional private property rights are required in the District, Pepco said, noting that it will obtain all necessary authorizations to place the 230-kV circuits underground within governmental and public rights of way and to make any needed modifications to facilities in such rights of way.

“There should be no appreciable impacts on the neighborhood and community other than the temporary disturbance that is associated with construction activities, which cannot be avoided,” Pepco said.

Pepco is a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings (NYSE:POM).

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3286 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares was TransmissionHub’s chief editor until August 2021, as well as part of the team that established TransmissionHub in 2011. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial from 2005 to 2011. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines.