T&D World Magazine

Allegheny Power Invests Nearly $60 Million in Maryland for Reliability Improvement Projects

Allegheny Power, the energy delivery business of Allegheny Energy, Inc., is completing nearly $60 million in infrastructure improvements and new construction in Maryland over the past two years. Allegheny works year-round to ensure reliable electric service for its customers, including close to 250,000 homes and businesses in western Maryland.

“Our primary responsibility is to ensure that reliable electricity is available at a flip of the switch or push of a button – regardless of whether it’s a sweltering summer day in Frederick or a snowy winter night in Cumberland,” said Rodney Dickens, President of Allegheny Power. “We are continuously working to monitor, maintain and improve Allegheny’s electric system in order to provide our customers with high quality service.”

The company’s comprehensive service reliability program includes: inspection and preventative maintenance of lines, substations and other electrical equipment; investment in infrastructure improvements; tree trimming; employee training; and testing and updating of operations and support systems. Infrastructure upgrades in Maryland include:

  • $24 million in transmission and distribution investment for installing new service or expanding existing service for customers;
  • $14 million for transmission line and substation projects, excluding the new PATH transmission line project;
  • $10 million for distribution maintenance and reliability improvement projects; and
  • $10 million for replacing distribution equipment, such as overhead lines, underground cable, meters and utility poles.

Among the critical projects completed in The Old Line State were:

  • Converting the 138-kV transmission system to a higher capacity 230-kV system in Frederick and Montgomery counties. This multi-year project involved work at five substations.
  • Replacing conductors on a 230-kV transmission line in southern Frederick and Montgomery counties.
  • Replacing transformers at substations near Petersville, Point of Rocks and Thurmont.
  • New circuits and upgrades in the Hagerstown area to address commercial and residential load growth.
    Upgrading underground cable in 26 locations in the Frederick, Mount Airy and Thurmont area.
  • Installing additional fuses, switches and fault indicating devices on more than 90 distribution circuits throughout the service territory. The devices pinpoint problem areas, helping to restore service quickly.
  • Construction of a new substation at the former Fort Richie Army Base near Cascade is scheduled for completion by the end of 2009. The substation is designed to support commercial development at the site.

In addition, Allegheny spent approximately $3.5 million since September 2008 for vegetation management activities in Maryland. Trees contacting power lines and other electric facilities are a major cause of service interruptions, especially during storms and other severe weather.

The company’s investment for infrastructure improvements and new construction in 2008 and 2009 in its four-state service territory will total more $360 million, excluding the TrAIL and PATH transmission line projects.

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