PPL Electric Utilities seeks to withdraw letter of notification involving 500-kV line project

PPL’s (NYSE:PPL) PPL Electric Utilities on June 1 filed with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) a petition for leave to withdraw a letter of notification, in which the company had requested approval to replace and re-terminate about 200 feet of the existing single circuit Breinigsville-Alburtis 500-kV Transmission Line in Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County, Pa.

As noted in the petition, PPL Electric, in its letter of notification, had indicated that the project was necessary to comply with the requirements of NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard “CIP-014-1 – Physical Security.”

PPL Electric said in its petition: “[U]pon further review and analysis of the need for the project, PPL Electric has determined that the project is not necessary to comply with the NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection Standard ‘CIP-014-1 – Physical Security.’ Because the need for the project as stated in the letter of notification and accompanying attachments is not correct, PPL Electric hereby seeks to withdraw the letter of notification in its entirety at this time.”

Discussing the need for the project in its letter of notification, the company said that the existing single-circuit Breinigsville-Alburtis line extends about six miles from the Breinigsville 500-138-69-kV substation located in Upper Macungie Township, Lehigh County, to the existing Alburtis 500-230-kV substation in Lower Macugnie Township.

The company said that it and a FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) subsidiary jointly share the Alburtis substation, the company said, noting that the PPL Electric-owned Breinigsville-Alburtis line currently terminates into Bay 1 of a PPL Electric-owned switchyard at the Alburtis substation.

The company noted that it is currently sharing a control cubicle in the Alburtis substation with FirstEnergy. There is no secure separation between the FirstEnergy controls and the PPL Electric controls inside the control cubicle, and in order to comply with the requirements of NERC CIP-014-1, the company needs to establish a physical security perimeter around its relay and control equipment.

The company added that in order to comply with the requirements of NERC CIP-014-1, PPL Electric proposes to realign the Breinigsville-Alburtis line from the existing Bay 1 position into a new Bay 2 position at the Alburtis substation. The use of the new bay allows PPL Electric to separate its relay and control equipment at the Alburtis substation from the control cubicle currently shared with FirstEnergy, the company said.

The project would involve the realignment of one span of new 500-kV conductors that would extend about 200 feet from the dead end structure to the new Bay 2 position at the Alburtis substation, the company said, noting that due to a difference in the positions of Bay 1 and Bay 2, the existing conductors would be replaced with new, slightly longer conductors.

In its petition, PPL Electric said that no parties have intervened, opposed, or otherwise contested the letter of notification. It would not be in the public interest to continue this proceeding based on an incorrect need for the project as stated in the letter of notification and accompanying attachments, the company said.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3054 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.