T&D World Magazine
PPL Electric Utilities Reinforces Electric Grid in Central Pennsylvania

PPL Electric Utilities Reinforces Electric Grid in Central Pennsylvania

PPL Electric Utilities has completed construction on a new transmission substation and related power lines designed to reinforce the regional power grid and bolster reliability for customers in Dauphin County, PA, and surrounding areas.

The multifaceted project represents a $28 million investment and is the largest of more than 100 transmission and distribution system improvements in the company’s capital improvement plan for 2012.

The Copperstone substation was built on a portion of a 32-acre property the utility purchased in South Hanover Township. The substation taps into existing transmission lines and steps down voltage from 230 kV to 69 kV for delivery to smaller distribution substations in the region.

“We continually evaluate the infrastructure that delivers power to our customers with an eye on safety and reliability. Investing in projects like this is part of our efforts to provide the level of service our customers have come to expect,” said David Bonenberger, general manager of transmission and substations for PPL Electric Utilities.

Bonenberger said projects like Copperstone support a strong regional electric grid that powers the economy by helping to energize homes and businesses. In addition, they help create construction and engineering support jobs. More than 650 contractors support the company’s infrastructure improvement program.

The Copperstone project was completed to comply with both North American Electric Reliability Corp. and PPL Electric Utilities reliability criteria and was included in PJM’s Regional Transmission Expansion Plan.

PJM is a regional transmission organization that manages the high-voltage electric grid and coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in Pennsylvania and in all or parts of 12 other states and the District of Columbia. NERC is the electric reliability organization certified by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to establish and enforce reliability standards for the high-voltage power system.

PPL Electric Utilities plans to invest about $3.6 billion from 2012-16 to improve both the transmission system, which transports high-voltage power over long distances, and the distribution system, which delivers lower-voltage electricity to homes and businesses.

In addition to projects like Copperstone, investments include replacing older power lines, building new substations and power lines, and installing more automated equipment to modernize the electric infrastructure

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