More than 10,000 PECO electric customers in portions of Delaware and Chester counties will benefit from a $16.7 million project recently completed to increase power supply for the area, improve electric service reliability, and meet growing electric demands.

PECO completed the installation of a new 69-kV electric transmission line along Route 252, connecting the company’s Newtown Square and Tredyffrin substations. The new line, now energized, is the culmination of more than nine months of work and included the replacement of some 150 poles along the route. The additional power supply allowed construction of two new distribution circuits fed from the company’s Newtown Square substation to better serve area customers.

To minimize the effects of the project on the local community, PECO performed nearly all of these upgrades within the existing rights-of-way where utility lines already exist. PECO also worked closely with local residents to minimize the effects of necessary tree and vegetation trimming and removal.

“PECO is always looking for ways to improve our service to customers and this project is a good example,” said John McDonald, vice president of Technical Services for PECO. “We greatly appreciate the cooperation of our customers and the local community during this project.”

The new transmission line and expansion of the Newtown Square substation was one of PECO’s largest distribution system projects for 2008. Across southeastern Pennsylvania, PECO will spend about $394 million this year for system upgrades and expansion to meet increased demand in new residential and commercial business, and to improve service reliability.