Potomac Edison has begun construction of a new 34.5-kV power line paralleling State Route 259 as part of a project to enhance service reliability for more than 2,200 customers in rural Hardy County, W.Va., including a nearby compressor station for a major natural gas pipeline.
"This project is designed to minimize the number of customers affected if a service interruption occurs in southeastern Hardy County," said James A. Sears, Jr., vice president of Potomac Edison. "The new power line and substation ultimately will allow us to divide the existing distribution circuit, which at 270 miles is the longest in Potomac Edison's service area, into three circuits that provide electricity to roughly 700 customers each."
The new 14.5-mile power line is the centerpiece of the $5 million project, which will link an existing substation near Baker, W.Va., to a new substation that will be built in Mathias, W.Va., in 2017. Potomac Edison line crews currently are working in the Mathias area, setting 300 new 50-foot wooden utility poles that will carry the new line in existing right-of-way or new right-of-way near Route 259.
The new substation will include three transformers and be located adjacent to a natural gas compressor station in Hardy County. The new line and substation are expected to be completed and energized by the end of December 2017.
Potomac Edison serves about 257,000 customers in seven Maryland counties and 137,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.