PPL Electric Utilities is seeking public comment on possible routes for a new power line as part of a six-year project to improve electric service for homes and businesses in northeast Pennsylvania and the Poconos, the company said Thursday (6/23).
"These improvements will ensure that people living and working in the region have a safe and reliable supply of electricity," said David Bonenberger, general manager-Transmission Operations. "This project will make electric service more reliable by reducing the number of power outages experienced by customers, and by reducing the duration of outages caused by falling trees or severe weather."
The company has selected alternative routes for the new, 230-kilovolt power line and the new 69-kilovolt power lines that are needed for this project. After an extensive public input process, and a review of environmental data, the company will choose one of the alternative routes later this year. PPL Electric Utilities will then begin the process of submitting the required applications to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for approval.
The company also has selected general locations for three new electrical substations. Detailed information on the alternative routes and substation locations has been mailed to property owners near the new facilities, and also is available on the project website, www.pplreliablepower.com/Northeast-Pocono.
The project will serve electric customers in parts of Lackawanna, Monroe, Wayne, Pike and Luzerne counties. It is part of more than $3 billion in infrastructure improvements planned by PPL Electric Utilities to benefit customers throughout its 29-county service territory.
"As always, we will be soliciting and considering public comments at every step of the way as we complete this project," Bonenberger said. "Whenever we improve the electric system for our customers, we are very focused on reducing, to the extent possible, impacts on people and the environment."
PPL Electric Utilities has scheduled six public open houses throughout the project area to get public input on where the new facilities should be located. The open houses have no set agenda and no formal presentation, so people may attend anytime between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. to get more details about the project and talk with various PPL Electric Utilities experts. Open houses will be held:
- Monday, July 11 – Pocono Community Church, 2770 Memorial Blvd. (Route 611), Tobyhanna, PA.
- Tuesday, July 12 – Thornhurst Fire & Rescue, 125 River Road, Thornhurst, PA.
- Wednesday, July 13 – PPL East Mountain Business Center, 1190 East Mountain Drive, Wilkes-Barre, PA.
- Tuesday, July 19 – Gouldsboro Volunteer Fire Co., 490 Main Street (Route 507), Gouldsboro, PA.
- Wednesday, July 20 – Greene-Dreher Volunteer Fire Association, 460 Crestmont Drive, Newfoundland, PA.
- Thursday, July 21 – Western Wayne Middle School, 1970B Easton Turnpike, Lake Ariel (South Canaan Twp.), PA.
This project also will help meet the growing demand for electricity in the area. Electricity use in the region has been increasing for decades, as new homes were built and existing homes used more electronic devices and appliances. This growth slowed slightly during the recent economic recession, and is likely to be partially offset by energy-saving measures being promoted by PPL Electric Utilities. But overall, demand in the region is expected to continue to increase.
In addition to the new substations and new power line, the company will rebuild about 20 miles of an existing 69-kilovolt power line that runs from the Peckville area in Lackawanna County to Honesdale in Wayne County. PPL Electric Utilities also will make other improvements to facilities in the area.
"This work will benefit everyone in this region," Bonenberger said. "It will improve service to our electric customers, and it will ensure that we can meet the growing demand for electricity, now and long into the future."