Duquesne Light seeks approval in Pennsylvania of 138-kV project

Duquesne Light on Nov. 26 filed with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission an initial brief regarding its proposed Universal-Plum Project in in Penn Hills, Monroeville, and Plum Borough, Allegheny County, Pa.

The company noted that in the consolidated proceedings – which include Docket No. A-2018-3000708 – it seeks approvals and findings necessary for the siting and construction of the transmission lines associated with the project.

The company said that it specifically seeks:

  • Approval for the siting and construction of about 4.21 miles of overhead 138-kV transmission lines associated with the Universal-Plum Project
  • Findings that the exercise of the power of eminent domain to acquire rights of way (ROWs) across nine tracts of land is necessary or proper for the service, accommodation, convenience, or safety of the public

The Universal-Plum Project is required to resolve violations of Duquesne Light’s Transmission Planning Criteria that currently exist at the Universal and Plum substations and to reinforce the existing 138-kV system located in Penn Hills, Monroeville, and Plum Borough. Under Duquesne Light’s Transmission Planning Criteria, the Plum substation should have two sources of transmission supply, the company added. Presently, however, that substation is supplied by a single source of supply and, if an outage occurs on that source of supply through required maintenance or system faults, the Plum substation would lose its only transmission source of supply.

The company added that the ability to transfer load served by the Plum substation to other substations is limited during times of system peak load and losing supply to the Plum substation could cause the local 23-kV sub-transmission and distribution circuits to become heavily loaded and near the emergency rating of the conductors.

Under the planning criteria, the Universal substation should have three sources of transmission supply because that substation has a maximum historical peak load of 124 MVA. Presently, however, the Universal substation is served by two transmission supply sources, and if one of those two sources is out of service for maintenance or other purposes, then the entire customer load served by that substation could be interrupted for an extended period of time if the other source of supply is lost due to an unexpected system fault, the company added.

The Universal-Plum Project addresses both of those reliability issues by providing each substation with an additional transmission source of supply, Duquesne Light said.

Among other things, the company also noted that the project is needed; would not create an unreasonable risk of danger to the health and safety of the public; is in compliance with all statutes and regulations providing for the protection of natural resources in Pennsylvania; and would have minimal adverse environmental impacts.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3286 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares was TransmissionHub’s chief editor until August 2021, as well as part of the team that established TransmissionHub in 2011. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial from 2005 to 2011. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines.