Potomac Edison, Maryland agency reach agreement on proposed 500-kV line

Potomac Edison and the Power Plant Research Program (PPRP) of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources are calling for state regulators to issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) for the Mt. Storm-Doubs transmission line, subject to certain conditions.

Potomac Edison, a FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) subsidiary, filed an application with the PSC in November 2012 for the CPCN to rebuild the Maryland portion of the transmission line, located in Frederick County, Md.

According to TransmissionHub data, the Mt. Storm to Doubs Rebuild Project is a 99-mile, 500-kV transmission line that begins at the Mt. Storm power station in Grand County, W. Va., and ends at the Doubs substation in Fredrick County.

According to the May 17 agreement of stipulation and settlement, the PPRP, in consultation with other state agencies, conducted an environmental and socioeconomic review of the proposed project’s impacts.

In April, the PPRP filed with the PSC its direct testimony and initial recommended licensing conditions. As a result of negotiations, the settling parties – the PPRP and Potomac Edison – have agreed to enter into the agreement.

According to the conditions, construction and operation of the line is to be undertaken in accordance with the certificate and is to comply with all applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations, including those related to non-tidal wetlands, waterway construction, erosion and sediment control, forest conservation and noise.

Construction of the line must begin within one year and operation within two years of receiving the CPCN. If conditions warrant a change in the schedule, Potomac Edison must notify the PSC, the state Office of People’s Counsel and the PPRP.

Also, Potomac Edison is to provide as-built details to the PPRP and the PSC on engineering and construction plans of the linear facilities, including right-of-way (ROW) width, length and total acreage of the ROW; transmission line structure and foundation types, dimensions and locations; transmission line conductor configuration; and nominal length of span between transmission line structures.

Another condition called for Potomac Edison to locate all structure foundations outside of streams and wetlands and at least 20 feet beyond the delineated boundaries of the same. This condition is not intended to, and does not, prohibit Potomac Edison from removing, as planned, an existing structure that currently has a foundation located within 20 feet of a delineated wetlands boundary.

The company is to also mitigate disruptions to commuter traffic to the extent practicable by scheduling the transport of materials and equipment to staging areas and construction sites during non-peak hours.

The conditions also noted that if relics of unforeseen archeological sites are revealed and identified in the project area during construction, Potomac Edison, in consultation with and as approved by the Maryland Historical Trust, is to develop and implement a plan for avoidance and protection, data recovery or destruction without recovery of such relics or sites.

Among other things, the company is to also, within three months of energizing the line, submit to the PPRP and the PSC actual electromagnetic field values measured at the centerline and edge of the transmission line ROW, while the transmission line is operating under typical loading conditions.

The project, sponsored by Dominion Resources (NYSE:D), is scheduled for completion in 2015, according to TransmissionHub data.

The line spans West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland, and the rebuild will increase line capacity by 66%. Dominion’s portion of the project is 96.4 miles of the line.

Potomac Edison owns a 2.8-mile segment of the line. Its portion runs from the Virginia-Maryland state line to the Doubs substation in Frederick County.

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.