PECO has received approval from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to build a new electric transmission substation in Worcester Township, Montgomery County. The $45 million project is PECO’s largest project this year as part of the company’s $400 million capital investments for improved system performance and reliability in 2009.

The substation will be located on a 10-acre site close to the intersection of two existing transmission corridors in the Center Point section of Worcester. The substation will transform high voltage power (500 kV) from one set of transmission lines to lower voltage power (230 kV) on another set of transmission lines. The power will then be re-routed and sent through the regional electrical system more efficiently, resolving reliability concerns identified by PECO and the transmission grid operator PJM Interconnection LLC.

An administrative law judge for the PUC recommended approval of the project last month, finding the company had justified the need for the new facility and the location would have the least impact on the community.

For almost two years, the company has been working closely with local residents and municipal officials and established a community advisory group to collect input on issues such as site access, landscaping, environmental impact, and lighting. Three community open houses were held during the planning period to share information regarding the necessity of the project and project details.

Initial site preparation is underway and construction of the substation will begin in the near future. “The Center Point substation is one of many reliability projects PECO is working this year,” said John McDonald, PECO vice president of Technical Services. “This project represents PECO’s commitment to ensuring reliable electric service to its customers and the region.”

Each year, PECO invests heavily to maintain its electric and natural gas delivery systems to improve system performance, as well as upgrading, modernizing and expanding for the growing needs of customers and the region. The substantial capital investments have allowed PECO customers to experience reliability that ranks in the top quartile of the industry over the past several years.