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PPL improves electric delivery in northeastern Pennsylvania

By Randy Kraft, WFMZ.com Reporter, RKraft@wfmz.com
Published On: May 09 2013 11:41:11 AM CDT
Updated On: May 09 2013 12:33:30 PM CDT

PPL Electric Utilities is upgrading power lines, modernizing substation equipment  and making other improvements to enhance service reliability for thousands of customers throughout northeastern Pennsylvania.

More than 20 projects, totaling about $30 million in infrastructure improvements, are under way this year on its distribution system .

“You’ll likely see our trucks, crews and contractors working in the Poconos and other parts of our northeastern service area to improve the system that delivers power directly to homes and businesses,” said Sarah Fliszar, director of operations for PPL’s northeast region.

“Projects include rebuilding lines to meet higher demand, adding new equipment that allows us to remotely reroute power during damaging storms and upgrading substations with new technology that will help minimize outages.”

Much of the distribution work involves installing new power lines to improve the performance of local circuits. The new lines are like opening roads that provide more alternate routes for electricity, allowing more opportunities to deliver power and restore service faster when outages occur.

PPL also will install remote-controlled devices at substations that allow remote access to control the flow of power. Local substations outfitted with the new equipment include those serving Mount Pocono, Stroudsburg, north Stroudsburg, Tobyhanna Township, Arrowhead Lake and Polk Township in Monroe County; Lake Harmony, Kidder Township, Meckesville and Lansford in Carbon County, and Brookside in Lackawanna County.

Additionally, PPL Electric Utilities is installing automated grid technology in Monroe County, a $10 million project that will improve the reliability of electric service to 70,000 customers. More than 230 automated devices are being installed on 52 distribution circuits, as well as upgrades at 16 local substations. The construction work is expected to be completed in November with full benefits in place next year.

PPL is investing nearly $1 billion this year to strengthen the electric delivery system for its nearly 1.4 million customers. The company’s largest-scale investment in system improvements since the 1960s and 1970s, it includes 250 large-scale transmission projects and smaller, more local reliability improvements throughout the service territory.

Here’s a look at some of the distribution projects, listed by county.

Monroe County:

  • Building a new line to better serve the Lake Naomi area in Tobyhanna Township, a $1.3 million project that will benefit about 2,300 customers. The project is expected to be completed at the end of the year.
  • Replacement of underground cable at Pocono Farms in Coolbaugh Township, a $740,000 project expected to be completed at the end of July.

Pike and Wayne counties:

  • Building a new distribution line from the Bohemia substation in Lackawaxen Township, including the addition of substation automation. The project also involves building a new line to link with the nearby Twin Lakes circuit in Shohola to better serve customers in the area. The $3.1 million project is expected to be finished this summer and benefit about 3,200 customers.
  • Adding a new substation between Newfoundland and Tafton in Pike and Wayne counties, respectively, to minimize storm-related outages and improve service reliability. The $6.5 million project is expected to be completed by the end of summer and benefit about 1,000 customers.

Lackawanna County:

  • A new distribution line will improve service for customers in the Throop area. The $680,000 project is expected to be finished in June and benefit about 2,800 customers.
  • A new line in Moscow, Springbrook and Covington townships will improve service for about 2,000 customers at a cost of $900,000.
  • A new line under construction in Old Forge will improve service for about 2,500 customers at a cost of $900,000.

Susquehanna County:

  • A new line between Dundaff and Forest City will benefit about 1,400 customers. The $800,000 project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.