In communities from the Slate Belt to southern Lehigh County, PPL Electric Utilities is at work upgrading power lines, modernizing facilities, building new substations and making other improvements on its distribution system. All of the improvements are intended to enhance electric service reliability for thousands of area customers in the Lehigh Valley and Bucks and Montgomery counties.
With nearly 30 local projects in the region, PPL Electric Utilities will invest about $27 million for infrastructure improvements that will benefit area customers this year. The projects will meet increased demand, improve reliability, limit the impact of outages, address aging infrastructure and enhance the utility’s operations.
It’s all part of the company’s largest-scale investment in system improvements since the 1960s and 1970s. The capital program includes large-scale transmission projects and smaller, more local reliability improvements throughout the service territory.
Much of the distribution work involves installing new power lines to improve the performance of local circuits. The new lines are like opening roads that provide more alternate routes for electricity, allowing more opportunities to deliver power and restore service faster when outages occur. The new lines will be equipped with fuses, relays and automated switches.
PPL Electric Utilities will upgrade equipment at several area substations, which serve as the local hubs for power delivery. New remote-controlled devices will be installed at substations serving south Allentown, Treichlers in Lehigh Township, Northampton County, and Mount Bethel in Northampton County, at an investment of more than $770,000.
Additionally, the company is replacing circuit breakers and power transformers at substations that serve Allentown, Catasauqua, South Whitehall Township and south Slatington.
With nearly $11 million in investments, new substations will boost local power capacity and increase reliability for Upper Macungie Township, Salisbury Township and Bangor.
Additionally, about 40 miles of older power lines are being rebuilt in Bucks, Lehigh and Northampton counties along the utility’s Martins Creek-Siegfried, Hosensack-Wescosville, Quarry-Hosensack and Seidersville-Quakertown lines.