Atlantic City Electric has proposed to replace an existing 138-kV line with a 16-mile, 230-kV line from its Churchtown substation in Pennsville, N.J., to its Orchard substation in Upper Pittsgrove Township, N.J.
Lendel Jones, regional communications director with Atlantic City Electric, also told TransmissionHub on June 10 that the company expects to file an application seeking approval to build the Upper Pittsgrove to Pennsville Transmission Line Project with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in a few weeks.
As part of the project, the company will replace about 90 steel lattice towers with smaller, single-shaft steel poles and the 230-kV line. “It’s going to give us the redundancy that we need,” Jones added.
The Orchard substation was built in 2008 with one line, she said, noting that the company explored various options due to public concern on a then-proposed second line. “We came up with this one and this route is much more palatable to residents in the area,” Jones said.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014, with the project possibly entering service in late 2015 or early 2016.
According to a project fact sheet, taking into account various seasonal, regulatory and operational scheduling restrictions, the construction phase is expected to last about 10 to 12 months.
“There is currently a double-circuit … transmission line on steel lattice towers,” the company said. “We plan to upgrade both circuits with new wire and increase the voltage of one of the circuits from 138-kV to 230-kV. In addition, we will replace the steel lattice towers with single-shaft-steel poles.”
The company is undertaking this project primarily because it is refurbishing a line that has been in service for many decades with more robust equipment. The new line will allow the company to operate the Orchard substation within its electrical system as originally intended, and replacing the lattice towers with single-shaft steel poles will reduce the footprint.
The transmission facilities run roughly parallel with Route 40, mostly on open farmland, and traverse through Upper Pittsgrove, Woodstown, Pilesgrove, Mannington and Pennsville.
Atlantic City Electric has an application under review with the state Department of Transportation to build the second line, but the company is proposing this upgraded line project as an alternative to its current plan to build along State Highway 77.
As originally designed, the Orchard substation is required to be directly linked by two 230-kV transmission lines, which will allow for full use of the substation capacity. Full interconnection of the substation will help minimize the amount of facilities affected in the event that one of the transmission lines experiences an outage. Presently, Orchard has only one 230-kV line in service, the company added.
The company has not finalized project cost, as any changes to the proposed plans will affect estimates, Jones said.
Atlantic City Electric, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings (NYSE:POM), noted that it is preparing the final engineering and design details of the project and so some components have not been finalized.