FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) on Sept. 5 said that its subsidiary, Potomac Edison, "will host a public information meeting in Smithsburg, Md., on Sept. 21 to discuss plans to rebuild an existing electric transmission line to keep affordable and reliable power flowing to customers in Washington and Frederick counties."
The project involves rebuilding the existing 138-kV line, almost entirely within an existing right of way, with new structures and wires capable of supporting 230-kV operation, the company said.
A company spokesperson on Sept. 5 told TransmissionHub that the upgraded line will extend between the Ringgold substation near Smithsburg, and the Catoctin substation near Thurmont, Md.
Property owners along the existing 10-mile line route were recently mailed letters informing them about the project and inviting them to attend the meeting, the company said in its statement.
Potomac Edison expects to file an application with the Maryland Public Service Commission later this year seeking approval to rebuild the existing line, FirstEnergy noted.
The Potomac Edison line rebuild will be necessary as a result of a larger project being proposed by Transource Energy, which held separate public meetings in the area in May and August, FirstEnergy said.
The company spokesperson confirmed that that Transource Energy project is the Independence Energy Connection.
According to the Independence Energy Connection’s website, that overhead electric transmission line project will be built to address a problem with the electric grid and increase consumer access to more affordable power in the mid-Atlantic.
The Independence Energy Connection is part of PJM Interconnection’s $320m market-efficiency upgrade, the site noted, adding that PJM identified the electrical problem and, in August 2016, selected Transource Energy’s solution, awarding construction of the project to the company.
The Independence Energy Connection project includes the construction of two new substations and a total of about 40 miles of new 230-kV overhead transmission line to be built in two segments that run north to south from Pennsylvania into Maryland, according to the site. Those two additional paths will tap into an existing 500-kV overhead transmission line that runs west to east and alleviate the electric gridlock problem identified by PJM, the site noted, adding that additional upgrades will be made to integrate the facilities into the grid.
The project is expected to be completed mid-2020, according to the site.