New power line proposed for Pennsylvania and Maryland
A company is seeking response from area residents about the route of a new power line in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Transource Energy, a partnership between American Electric Power and Great Plains Energy, announced plans Thursday to develop the new overhead electric-transmission project, called Independence Energy Connection.
Transource has scheduled open houses for next week in Washington County and Franklin County to gather public input.
“We are talking about brand new power lines, new right of way. … This is something that’s going to give customers access to lower-cost power,” Transource Director Todd Burns said.
Officials estimate the project will save the region’s customers approximately $600 million in electric costs during the next 15 years, he said.
Proposed routes of two new lines, one in this region and another to the east, have not been outlined.
Burns said the company will get public feedback on dozens of segments, and use those pieces to develop proposed routes.
“It is very much an evolution to identify a line route this way. … We are sincerely looking for public involvement in this,” he said.
The goal is “to balance the needs of the community and the impact of construction,” Burns said.
PJM Interconnection — the regional transmission organization responsible for managing the high-voltage grid for 13 states, including Maryland and Pennsylvania — identified concerns with the current system.
“In short, there’s an electrical bottleneck in getting power into this region,” Burns said.
PJM awarded the construction project to Transource in August. Totaling $320 million, the project will connect to two existing 500-kilovolt transmission lines in Pennsylvania and provide two new additional paths for electricity to ease gridlock, according to a Transource news release.
The project includes about 40 miles of new 230-kv overhead transmission lines, two new substations and additional upgrades to integrate the facilities into the grid.
Transource reported that the work will be split into the following two parts:
• The eastern section includes about 15 miles of new power line. It will connect a new substation to be built in southern York County, Pa., to the existing Conastone Substation, near Norrisville, in Harford County.
• The western segment includes about 25 miles of new line. It will connect a new substation to be built in Franklin County, Pa., to the existing Ringgold Substation, near Smithsburg.