PPL rebuilding key power line to prevent outages
In a direct response to the widespread, prolonged power outages following Hurricane Sandy and other major storms, PPL Electric Utilities will rebuild a key power line that serves tens of thousands of homes and businesses in Northampton, Lehigh and Bucks counties.
The project will make this power line much less likely to be knocked out by storm damage such as tree strikes, lightning and high winds.
The line, called the Quarry-Seidersville transmission line, runs from PPL's Quarry substation on the border of Bethlehem and Freemansburg to PPL's Seidersville substation in Lower Saucon Township.
This project is only one part of a determined effort by PPL Electric Utilities to reduce the probability of power outages during major storms and improve overall electric service reliability.
In addition to this project, the company is:- Removing more trees around lines, because falling trees are a major cause of power outages.- Rebuilding other electric delivery facilities throughout the region to make them less vulnerable to storm damage.- Installing new equipment on key local power lines to protect customers from outages and to help us restore power faster.
More than 27,800 electric customers rely on the Quarry-Seidersville line for their power. These customers are located in Allentown, Bethlehem, Freemansburg, Fountain Hill and Hellertown, and in the townships of Bethlehem, Durham, Hanover, Haycock, Lower Saucon, Salisbury, Springfield, Upper Saucon and Williams. This line also serves Lehigh University and St. Luke's Hospital.
The new line will include several features designed to make it less vulnerable to storm damage. It will have two overhead ground wires to protect the line from lightning strikes instead of the current single-wire design. Fault detectors will be installed to tell operators where any damage is located and help speed repairs and restoration of power. And new, remotely controlled motorized switches can be used to isolate a damaged part of the line and restore power more quickly to customers elsewhere on the line.
Preparatory work, including surveying, environmental permitting studies, engineering reviews and other work, will begin immediately. The company expects to file a formal request for approval by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission late this summer. If approved by the PUC, construction is expected to begin next March and the project will be completed later next year.
In 2013, PPL Electric Utilities is spending nearly $1 billion on more than 250 individual projects designed to improve operations and strengthen reliability for electric customers throughout the company's service territory.
PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation that provides electricity delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania, consistently ranks among the best companies for customer service in the United States. More information is available at www.pplelectric.com.