After soliciting public input during 13 community meetings, PPL Electric Utilities has submitted the Northeast-Pocono Reliability Project to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for approval.
The PUC review process generally takes about one year, during which there are opportunities for additional public input. For example, the commission may schedule public input sessions for local residents in the project area.
The route chosen for the power line represents the company's best effort to balance social, environmental and cost impacts while ensuring that PPL Electric Utilities can fulfill its obligation to provide reliable electric service.
This project is needed because electricity use in the region has been increasing for decades. New homes have been built and existing homes are using more electronic devices and appliances. While this growth has been reduced by customers using energy more efficiently, overall demand — particularly during peak times such as winter cold snaps — is expected to continue to grow.
Another need for the project relates to the existing network of 69-kV power lines in this area. These lines are no longer adequate to serve customer needs. These lines are up to 40 miles long, exposing customers to more frequent and longer service outages if lines are damaged during storms.
The Northeast-Pocono Reliability Project will address these issues and improve electric service in this part of PPL Electric Utilities' service territory.
The new power line will be about 58 miles long. It will connect the new electrical substations to the existing high-voltage grid, strengthening the local electric delivery network. The project, which will cost about $200 million, will serve customers in parts of Lackawanna, Monroe, Wayne, Pike, Carbon and Luzerne counties.
PPL Electric Utilities, a unit of PPL Corp., provides electric delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania and consistently ranks among the best companies for customer service in the U.S.