Delmarva Power continues work on over $60m of reliability projects

Delmarva Power & Light continues to work on enhancing reliability in its service territory, including investing about $31m on upgrades to transmission lines and facilities serving the Middletown and Glasgow areas in southern New Castle County, Del.

The work involves two projects occurring simultaneously along the existing transmission corridor that runs west from the Mt. Pleasant substation, north along the Maryland/Delaware state lines, across the C & D Canal, and then to the Glasgow substation, Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings (NYSE:POM), said Feb. 14.

Most of the work for both projects involves replacing the current, double-wood-pole “H” frame style line with two single-steel-pole lines. One set of the new steel poles will replace the existing transmission line and the other set of new steel poles will be used for a new transmission line, the company added.

Both lines will be the same voltage – 138-kV – as the existing “H” frame line, Delmarva Power said, noting that pre-construction and construction work is expected to begin this spring and be completed by May 2013.

The work is needed to maintain Delmarva Power’s commitment to safe and reliable electric transmission service for its customers; meet compliance requirements based on updated standards from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) for local distribution companies that maintain transmission lines and substations; and address PJM Interconnection’s projections for power and reliability requirements on the Delmarva Peninsula, the company said.

“All of the work will take place on property that has served as a major transmission corridor for the past 56 years,” Glenn Moore, regional vice president with Delmarva Power, said in the statement.

A Delmarva Power spokesperson told TransmissionHub Feb. 21 that the approximately 10.5 mile-project is “one of many” that the company is working on.

For instance, Delmarva Power is working on a reliability project upgrade from Townsend, Del., to Millington, Md., that involves a $14.1m, 12-mile 138-kV line. That line is expected to be in service in May 2014, she said.

Delmarva Power is also working to complete a reliability project upgrade between Millsborough, Del., to Bishopville, Md., involving a $15.7m, 138-kV line to be built on approximately 12 miles of existing right-of-way. That line is expected to be complete this year, she added.

Among other efforts, the company is also about 99% complete with the installation of electric smart meters for all its Delaware customers, the spokesperson said.

Programs associated with encouraging customers “to change their behavior … about when they use energy and scale back their use of energy when we’re in peak periods” will begin to get launched in Delaware in the coming year or two, she said.

Pepco Holdings plans $5.62bn infrastructure investment

According to a Jan. 11 presentation, Pepco Holdings plans $5.62bn in infrastructure investment over the 2012-2016 period, $1.56bn, or 28%, of which will be in transmission.

Of the $1.56bn, $545m is for reliability projects, $811m is for “other” transmission investments, and $205m is for the Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway project, which has seen delays and is expected to enter service in 2020.

The company listed as infrastructure investment drivers renewable energy integration, reliability upgrades, generation retirements, environmental regulations, increasing replacement of existing infrastructure and changing location of load centers compared to the location of new generation sources.

Pepco expects these investments to affect 3,748 miles of transmission lines. Most of the transmission projects that will enter service over the five-year period are not to meet load growth needs but to meet new NERC operating requirements (N-1-1), the company said.

These investments are a driver for new transmission facilities across all three of Pepco’s operating companies, Delmarva Power, Potomac Electric Power Company and Atlantic City Electric. The three utilities together have a total transmission rate base of $1.19bn, of which Delmarva comprises $372m.

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.