The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Feb. 8 said that it has approved the application of Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission, LLC, (MAIT), as successor in interest to Pennsylvania Electric Co., to build the $48m Bedford North-Central City West 115-kV HV [(high-voltage)] Transmission Line Project in Bedford and Somerset counties.
The commission said that it voted 5-0 on Feb. 8 to adopt a motion from Andrew Place, vice chairman of the commission, affirming a recommended decision with modifications to grant the application for the siting, construction, and operation of the new project – as amended by the motion – and enabling MAIT to acquire certain parcels of land through eminent domain proceedings in order to complete the project.
In his filing, Place noted that a few aspects of the administrative law judge’s (ALJ) recommended decision require modification. Among other things, he noted that approval of the application should be conditioned on requiring MAIT, as successor in interest to Penelec, to comply with any and all permit requirements received from any agency or entity from which a permit is required in order to build the project.
The commission said in its statement that MAIT will operate and maintain the 17.6-mile, double-circuit line between the Bedford North substation in Bedford Township, Bedford County, and the Central City West substation in Central City Borough, Somerset County.
The commission added that about 10.4 miles of the project will require new right of way (ROW), while the remaining 7.2 miles will be built on the ROW of the existing Bedford North-New Baltimore 115-kV Transmission Line, located in Napier, East St. Clair, and Bedford townships in Bedford County.
The new project will enable the bulk electric system to operate reliably and provide adequate capacity to serve future anticipated load growth in the region, the commission said.
According to a project fact sheet posted on FirstEnergy’s (NYSE:FE) website, the line will enhance service reliability for about 17,500 Penelec customers in Somerset and Bedford counties. The project will address the risk of thermal overloads and low voltage conditions on the transmission system that could impact service reliability, the fact sheet said.
Construction is scheduled for completion by December, the commission noted.