Transource Energy on Oct. 16 announced the routes that it will file with state regulators for the Independence Energy Connection, which, as the company noted, is a new overhead electric transmission infrastructure project in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
The East segment of the project includes about 16 miles of new overhead electric transmission line that would connect a new substation to be built in Lower Chanceford Township in York County, Pa., to the existing Conastone substation, near Norrisville in Harford County, Md.
The company added that the West segment of the project includes about 29 miles of new overhead electric transmission line that would connect a new substation to be built in Southampton Township in Franklin County, Pa., to the existing Ringgold substation, near Smithsburg in Washington County, Md.
PJM Interconnection has identified the need for the $320m upgrade to alleviate congestion on the high-voltage electric grid and benefit customers in the region, including parts of Pennsylvania and Maryland, Transource Energy said.
According to a project fact sheet, PJM selected Transource Energy’s solution to address the congestion issues and awarded construction of the project in August 2016. Transource Energy chose the study area based on the geographic proximity to the system limitations that PJM identified. The fact sheet added that the existing infrastructure does not have the available capacity because the project solution necessitates a 230-kV double-circuit structure fully utilized with high capacity wires. The new lines proposed for the project are meant to supplement the existing transmission facilities instead of replacing them, the fact sheet noted.
The company noted in its statement that it hosted two rounds of open house meetings in the summer and presented more than 250 miles of route options for review. All submitted input from landowners and community members was incorporated into determining the final proposed routes, the company said. Noting that presented two structure types to the public, Transource Energy said that most of the comments that it received supported the monopole option, which is what the company will use, except in areas where engineering or construction needs dictate another structure type.
According to the fact sheet, agents will review the fair market value for properties and extend to directly involved landowners an offer of a one-time payment for an easement on their properties. There can also be compensation for crop loss or damages during construction, the fact sheet noted. Landowners along the proposed routes will receive a notification letter and then be contacted by a right of way agent to start negotiations, according to the fact sheet.
Among other things, the fact sheet noted that PJM projects costs savings for consumers in 10 power zones: American Electric Power Co., Inc., Allegheny Power Systems, Baltimore Gas and Electric, ComEd, Dayton Power & Light, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky, Duquesne Light, Dominion, East Kentucky Power Cooperative, and Potomac Electric Power Company.
Transource Energy said in its statement that it plans to file applications to build the project with Pennsylvania and Maryland regulators by the end of the year. Construction of the project is expected to begin in 2019, and the project is expected to be in service in mid-2020.