Potomac Edison, in a Jan. 24 filing submitted to the Maryland Public Service Commission, requested a waiver of the certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) requirements so as to allow the company to run a short tap line from the existing Ringgold-Catoctin 138-kV Transmission Line to a new distribution substation to be built later this year in order to support improved distribution system reliability.
The company said that it is proposing to build the 177-foot-long, 138-kV tap line into the proposed substation to be named Garfield. The line would tap the existing Ringgold-Catoctin Line, which extends between the Ringgold substation located near Smithsburg, Washington County, Md., and then traverses about 10 miles east to the Catoctin substation located in Thurmont, Frederick County, Md.
The tap would be located along Tower Road just west of the Cunningham Falls State Park, the company added.
The project includes installing three new in-line wood pole structures, Potomac Edison said, adding that the new tap line would extend southerly from structure “89B” for about 177 feet across land on which the company has acquired binding options for the construction of the proposed Garfield substation.
Construction of the tap line is expected to cost about $600,000, and the entire Garfield project – including the tap line – is anticipated to cost just under $3m, the company said.
Potomac Edison said that it plans to begin construction on the project in July, noting that when completed, the operation of the Garfield substation is expected to enhance service reliability for the customers currently served by the Wolfesville circuit, which currently runs 114 miles, through wooded and mountainous terrain, and is fed from the Myersville substation in Myersville, Md.
Due to its length and inaccessibility, that has been a repeating “Poorest Performing Feeder,” and other remediation efforts, such as tree trimming, have not been adequate to sufficiently improve its performance, the company said.
Building the Garfield substation as an additional source for the circuit will enable the company to split the line into two circuits, thus reducing exposure and providing redundancy for both circuits, the company said.
All work on the tap line and substation would be performed on property subject to property rights already held by the company, so no question of eminent domain authority would arise, the company said, adding that there also would be no increase in the voltage or size of any conductor.
Among other things, Potomac Edison, a FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) company, said that it requests that the commission issue a waiver by July 11.