Delmarva Power aiming to complete 138-kV upgrade project by February 2014

Delmarva Power & Light continues to work on its 138-kV line between Millington, Md., and Townsend, Del., with construction expected to begin in Delaware in July 2013 and in Maryland in August 2013.

Completion of the line is expected by February 2014, the company said on May 1. The project involves rebuilding the existing circuit and replacing wooden poles with weathering steel poles on about 12 miles of existing right-of-way.

The line will cost about $16m, and the cost will be borne by customers of Delmarva Power as well as electric cooperatives and municipally owned electric utilities on the Delmarva peninsula, a company spokesperson told TransmissionHub May 3.

Delmarva Power filed a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) with Maryland state regulators in March, he said, noting that it could take up to one year for the state Public Service Commission to approve the CPCN.

“We need approval on the CPCN before any construction can begin on the Maryland portion of the Millington to Townsend project,” the spokesperson said. “There is no similar permitting process with the Delaware Public Service Commission. We will also need permits for the Maryland portion from the Maryland [Department] of the Environment and the Army Corps of Engineers. For the Delaware portion, we will need permits from the [Delaware Department] of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Army Corps of Engineers.”

John Allen, Delmarva Power region vice president, said in the company’s statement that engineering studies show that the rebuilt transmission line will help avoid extended power outages should there be a major problem with the transmission and generation infrastructure.

“The rebuilt line will have a direct benefit for customers in Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties in Maryland,” he said. “This project is one of several similar transmission upgrade projects planned for the Delmarva Peninsula over the next several years, all of which demonstrate Delmarva Power’s commitment to continue to provide safe and reliable electric service for our customers.”

Delmarva Power said a public meeting on the project will be held May 16 in Millington, Md.

The spokesperson said the company also plans to hold a community meeting in mid-June on the Middletown, Del., to Glasgow, Del., project.

Delmarva Power said in February that it is investing about $31m on upgrades to transmission lines and facilities serving those 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.

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.

The spokesperson said pre-construction work has begun and the company hopes to complete the effort by May 2013.

He also said that work on the $15.7m, 138-kV line between Millsboro, Del., and Bishopville, Md., is going smoothly. “We hope to have that project completed in the next few weeks,” he said.

Delmarva Power is a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings (NYSE:POM).

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3263 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.