BGE seeks waiver in Maryland for 115-kV line work

Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) on May 8 requested that the Maryland Public Service Commission waive the requirement to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) in connection with work on a portion of an existing 115-kV overhead transmission line in Baltimore County, Md.

BGE noted that the Sparrows Point property is a 3,100-acre site in Baltimore County, which was the home for iron, steel, and tin manufacturing operations for nearly 125 years. Tradepoint Atlantic, LLC, (TPA) a development company, bought the Sparrows Point property in 2014 after all steelmaking operations ceased, and the property is now being developed into the country’s largest, multi-channeled transportation and logistics hub, BGE said. Such tenants as Federal Express, Under Armour, and Amazon operate in large facilities on the property and ship their products by port, rail, and highway, BGE said. TPA will also develop a retail component at the Sparrows Point property, called “The Shoppes at Tradepoint Atlantic,” which will consist of more than 70 acres, BGE said.

In order to reliably supply the forecast load associated with the redevelopment of the Sparrows Point property, BGE must modify a portion of an existing 115-kV overhead electric transmission line that traverses the property, BGE said. the modified overhead electric transmission line will supply the Fitzell substation, which BGE will build as a replacement for two smaller and older substations, the Finishing Mill and Steel Side substations.

BGE said that it plans to begin the construction work for the project in July, and that it estimates that it will take about 12 months to 18 months to complete the project. The Fitzell substation will be energized and placed into service in the second half of 2020, the company said.

Describing the project, BGE noted that an existing 2.1-mile, double-circuit, 115-kV, overhead electric transmission line runs from the Riverside substation to the Finishing Mill substation, and continues from the Finishing Mill substation to supply the Steel Side substation.

BGE said that it will decommission the Finishing Mill and Steel Side substations and replace them with the Fitzell substation, which will be located on the Sparrows Point property. In order to supply the Fitzell substation, BGE said that it must modify the existing 115-kV overhead electric transmission line that runs between the Riverside substation and the Finishing Mill substation in such a manner that will allow the Fitzell substation to be supplied from the Riverside substation. BGE said that it will decommission and remove the portion of the existing 115-kV overhead electric transmission line that runs between the Finishing Mill and Steel Side substations, which includes nine weathering steel lattice towers and associated wire and equipment. Additionally, BGE said that it will remove three existing galvanized steel towers and associated wire and equipment from a portion of the existing 115-kV overhead electric transmission line immediately to the west/south-west of the decommissioned Finishing Mill substation.

Noting that it will modify the existing 115-kV overhead electric transmission line out of the Riverside substation to connect with the Fitzell substation, BGE said that it will use a slightly wider version of the existing right of way (ROW) that runs between the Finishing Mill and Steel Side substations, as well as new ROW granted by TPA to complete the project. Eighteen weathering steel poles will be installed to complete the connection with the Fitzell substation, BGE said, adding that those 18 structures will replace the 12 structures that BGE will remove as part of the project.

BGE also noted that in order to establish communications between the Riverside and Fitzell substations, it will install optical ground wire (OPGW) in the shield wire position at the top of the structures along the entire length of the line.

The company said that good cause exists for waiving the requirement to obtain a CPCN for certain reasons, including that the project will be primarily built on the Sparrows Point property, and the developer of the site, TPA, supports the project and the CPCN waiver requested by BGE; that in order to build the project, BGE will not need to obtain any new real property or additional ROWs through eminent domain; and that the timely completion of the project is necessary to ensure the safe, reliable, and adequate supply of electricity to the large commercial and retail facilities at the Sparrows Point property.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3059 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.