PPL’s (NYSE:PPL) PPL Electric Utilities on May 23 filed with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) a petition for expedited approval to amend an April 2016 PUC order that approved a letter of notification for the reconstruction of the existing Susquehanna-Jenkins 230-kV Transmission Line in Luzerne County, Pa.
Specifically, the company requested that the April 2016 order be amended to grant approval to shift the location of the existing right of way (ROW) on a single parcel to accommodate the future construction of a new 230-69-kV substation to be located on PPL Electric-owned property located in Bear Creek Township, Luzerne County.
The company added in its petition that the proposed modification of the ROW would be located entirely in property owned in fee by PPL Electric.
Construction of the Susquehanna-Jenkins line began in September 2016 to support an in-service date of June 2018, and is scheduled to reach the location of the proposed modification of the ROW on or about June 20, 2017, the company said.
Discussing the April 2016 order, the company noted that the PUC approved the letter of notification for the reconstruction of the line, finding that the size, character, design, and configuration of the reconstructed line will not substantially alter the ROW because the reconstructed 22.4-mile, 230-kV “transmission line will be located entirely within PPL Electric’s existing rights-of-way.”
Subsequent to the PUC’s April 2016 order, PPL Electric identified the need to shift the location of the existing ROW on a single parcel owned in fee by the company in Bear Creek Township. The company added that it determined that it is necessary to build a new 230-69-kV substation to address multiple reliability issues on the 69-kV system serving the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area. While the engineering for the new, future substation has not yet been finalized, PPL Electric said that it anticipates that construction on the new substation will begin around 4Q17.
The Susquehanna-Jenkins line currently traverses the property where the future, new substation will be located, the company said, noting that that substation will be interconnected with the rebuilt Susquehanna-Jenkins line, which will provide the 230-kV source of supply to the substation. In order to accommodate the future, new substation, the rebuilt Susquehanna-Jenkins line will need to be shifted from the existing ROW and routed around the substation, the company said.
If the segment of the Susquehanna-Jenkins line is rebuilt within the existing ROW now, it will in the near future have to be removed from the existing ROW and rebuilt in a nearby, but different, location on the property for the future, new substation, the company said. In an effort to avoid incurring unnecessary additional and duplicative construction costs associated with that segment of the Susquehanna-Jenkins line, PPL Electric said that it seeks an expedited amendment of the order entered in April 2016 to allow the company to shift the location of the existing ROW on the single parcel to accommodate the future construction of the new substation.
If approved, the section of the Susquehanna-Jenkins line that currently traverses the PPL Electric-owned site for the future, new substation will be rerouted about 400 feet north of the current centerline to go around the planned new substation, the company said.