PPL Electric Utilities has completed rebuilding the $44m, 16-mile, 230-kV Brunner Island-West Shore power line in York and Cumberland counties in Pennsylvania that will help reduce the risk of power outages by doubling the capacity of the previous line, parent company PPL (NYSE:PPL) said on June 5.
The project took about a year to complete and replaced a 230-kV, single-circuit line supported by lattice-style towers built in the 1960s with a double-circuit line of the same voltage supported by taller single-shaft steel poles.
PPL also said the project began at the company’s Brunner Island switchyard along the Susquehanna River in East Manchester Township in York County, and traveled northwest to the company’s West Shore substation in Lower Allen Township in Cumberland County. The company also completed upgrades at the switchyard and substation to accommodate the new line.
The work was done as part of PJM Interconnection’s regional transmission expansion plan, Paul Santarelli, manager of transmission operations for the utility, said in the statement.
The project is part of the company’s expanded investments in the infrastructure that delivers power to customers in all or part of 29 counties in central and eastern Pennsylvania.
PPL also said that the work includes transmission projects like the Brunner Island-West Shore line that help carry high-voltage power over long distances and distribution projects that deliver lower voltage electricity directly to homes and businesses.
This year, almost $1bn in electric delivery system infrastructure investments are forecast, part of an estimated $3.8bn over the next five years.
PPL said on May 31 that PPL Electric Utilities has allocated more than $14m for infrastructure improvements and has 16 local projects in north central Pennsylvania in the works.
Among the larger investments are two new distribution substations in Augustaville, Northumberland County, and Lansford, Carbon County, which will be completed in the fall, in addition to upgrades to 18 substations to replace older equipment and enhanced technology for improved operations, the company said.
Much of the distribution work involves installing new power lines to improve the performance of local circuits, PPL said, adding that the new lines will be equipped with fuses, relays and automated switches.
Christina Sepich, operations director for the company’s Central and Susquehanna regions, said in the statement that PPL Electric Utilities is investing more this year to address aging infrastructure, strengthen its electric delivery system and improve reliability.
On May 23, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission said that it voted 5-0 to approve PPL Electric Utilities’ petition to implement a distribution system improvement charge (DSIC).
Separately on May 23, PPL said that effective July 1, the new DSIC, which will appear on customer bills, will be about 20 cents per month on the bill of a residential customer who uses 1,000 kWh of electricity. The charges will vary for customers based on their monthly usage and will be equal to 0.44% of each customer’s monthly distribution charges.