A virtual public hearing to provide information about Baltimore Gas and Electric’s (BGE) proposed Five Forks to Windy Edge Transmission Line Reliability Project will be held at 6:30 p.m. on May 20, according to an April 8 notice from a Maryland Public Service Commission public utility law judge.
As noted in the filing, Exelon‘s BGE in mid-January filed with the commission an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) for authority to build the project, which would consist of replacing the existing double-circuit, 115-kV, overhead transmission line and its associated lattice structures with a new line mounted on weathering steel poles.
That approximately 20-mile segment, located in the northeastern section of BGE’s Maryland electric distribution service territory, runs from the company’s Five Forks substation, located in northern Harford County, Md., to the vicinity of BGE’s Windy Edge substation, located in northern Baltimore County, Md., according to the filing.
As noted in the company’s Jan. 15 application, the width of the right of way (ROW) is about 100 feet, and the total land area of the ROW is about 136 acres. BGE added that the northern portion of the ROW passes through mainly rural, agricultural lands typical of northern Harford County. Further south, the ROW intersects wooded areas and areas of mixed low-density, rural-residential, and agricultural lands. Into northern Baltimore County, BGE added, land use is a mix of the same general types.
The company noted that the new weathering steel monopoles would be aligned along the centerline between the two existing tower lines to the greatest extent practical. No new ROW or real property rights would be required for the project, BGE said.
BGE plans to replace the existing line, which is more than 100 years old and mounted on a total of more than 400 mostly lattice structures, with new line mounted on 219 steel monopoles, based on the current engineering design.
BGE added that the project is necessary to address ongoing reliability issues with the existing 115-kV transmission line segment, with those issues indicating that the existing line is reaching the end of its useful life.
From a transmission planning perspective, the project is needed because there are several locations of tapped load from the two circuits that are part of the Five Forks to Windy Edge transmission line segment. BGE added that its distribution load is served from the company’s Rock Ridge and Glenarm substations. In addition, the company noted that it has two transmission-level customers served via the Rutledge tap — Colonial Pipeline and Columbia Gas — and that it is vital that BGE maintain safe and reliable electric service to those customers.
Among other things, the company said that the project’s capital cost is estimated to be about $116.7m, and that the project has a target in-service date of Dec. 31, 2025, for the new double-circuit steel monopole line, with site stabilization expected to be complete in early spring 2026.
In the April 8 notice, Public Utility Law Judge Kristin Case Lawrence said that individuals who would like to speak at the hearing may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on May 17. The public hearing may be viewed online at https://bit.ly/2X6wLiP.
The notice also said that written comments on the application may be submitted to the commission by Nov. 15 (Case No. 9658).