PPL Electric Utilities announced a project last month to improve electric service for customers throughout the Susquehanna Valley in Pennsylvania.

PPL Electric Utilities plans to build a new 69-kV power line and substation to help reduce the number and duration of power outages experienced by some customers in parts of Northumberland, Snyder and Juniata counties.

“The new power line and substation will provide PPL Electric Utilities with an additional source of power that will help us improve electrical reliability for residents and businesses in the area,” said David E. Schleicher, vice president of Transmission for PPL Electric Utilities.

The new 11- to 12-mile power line will connect an existing line located east of Dalmatia in Northumberland County to another existing line located near the Richfield area in Snyder and Juniata counties. The new line will strengthen the local electric system by providing a backup to the existing 69-kV lines in the area.

After thorough engineering and environmental impact studies of the area, PPL Electric Utilities has identified three alternative routes where this new transmission line could be built. Only one line will be needed, and public input will be an important factor in determining which route is used.

The project will also include construction of a new substation along the new line in the area near Meiserville. The substation will allow power from the new transmission line to be more efficiently routed into communities that have been experiencing increased power outages. PPL Electric Utilities has also identified several alternative substation sites for this project. Only one substation will be needed for the project.

PPL Electric Utilities does not have existing right of way in these areas, so it will be necessary to work with local property owners to acquire the rights needed to build the project.

“We will be keeping area residents and officials informed about this project each step of the way,” Schleicher said. “We strive to be good neighbors when building electric system facilities, and we encourage area residents to provide input about the project at the public open houses planned later this month.”

The PPL Electric Utilities project team will be on hand to provide information on the project and to answer questions at two open houses:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 9, at St. Thomas Independent Brethren in Christ Church in Mount Pleasant Mills.
  • Thursday, Dec. 10, at Hickory Corners and Community Fire Company in Dalmatia.

There is no set agenda or formal presentation for these open houses, and residents are encouraged to visit either event anytime between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

PPL Electric Utilities plans to choose one of the three line alternatives by the spring of 2010 and expects construction to begin in the summer of 2011. The line and substation are expected to begin operation in the fall of 2012.