The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has approved the long-term infrastructure improvement plan and distribution system improvement charge for PECO Energy Co., which will allow for enhanced system resiliency and reliability.
The Commission voted 5-0 to approve PECO’s LTIIP and DSIC, which were filed in compliance with Act 11 of 2012 (Act 11). On March 27, 2015, PECO filed a petition for approval of its electric LTIIP and to establish a DSIC for its operations.
In a statement during the public meeting, Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer noted the scope of PECO’s planned infrastructure improvements.
“PECO will increase capital investment by approximately $274 million over the next five years. This investment will fund infrastructure improvements designed to enhance reliability by strengthening and modernizing PECO’s electric distribution system,” said Commissioner Witmer.
“PECO’s LTIIP also includes a conceptual plan to construct one or more pilot microgrids in its service territory,” added Commissioner Witmer. “PECO indicates that these projects could be potential alternatives to traditional transmission and distribution solutions, and that the company is focusing on areas where the projects can provide significant benefit to diverse customer segments and critical facilities.”
PECO’s LTIIP covers a five-year period, from 2016 through 2020, and consists of three main project areas and a fourth category related to unreimbursed facility relocations: 1) storm hardening and resiliency measures; 2) underground cable replacement; 3) building substation retirements; and 4) facility relocations.
PECO provides electric delivery service to about 1.6 million customers and natural gas delivery service to about 495,000 customers in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and York Counties, and the City of Philadelphia.
Act 11, signed Feb. 14, 2012, allows jurisdictional water and wastewater utilities, natural gas distribution companies, city natural gas distribution operations and electric distribution companies to petition the Commission for approval to implement a DSIC. Under the law, the DSIC must be designed to provide for "the timely recovery of the reasonable and prudent costs incurred to repair, improve or replace eligible property in order to ensure and maintain adequate, efficient, safe, reliable and reasonable service.”
Act 11 requires, among other things, that utilities file LTIIPs as part of any action to establish a DSIC to recover reasonable and prudent costs incurred to repair, improve or replace certain eligible property that is part of a utility’s distribution system.