The District of Columbia Power Line Undergrounding (DC PLUG) initiative is a partnership between the District and Pepco to improve the reliability and resiliency of the District of Columbia electric system by placing select systems underground.
On Aug. 16, 2012, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray established the Mayor’s Power Line Undergrounding Task Force (Task Force). The purpose of the Task Force was to pool the collective resources available in the District of Columbia to analyze the technical feasibility, infrastructure options and reliability implications of placing new or existing overhead electric distribution facilities underground in the District of Columbia. The Task Force determined that improvements to the District of Columbia’s electric distribution system to enhance its resiliency and reduce power outages caused by storms would require new investment. The Task Force identified a funding process that allowed the District government to use its authority to significantly lower the cost of borrowing and to work in conjunction with Pepco’s traditional funding and rate recovery mechanism, reducing the impact on District of Columbia utility customers, as the most prudent method for funding these improvements. On May 17, 2017, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed amended legislation into law that allows the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Pepco to move forward with DC PLUG. DDOT and Pepco submitted their application for approval of the First Biennial Underground Infrastructure Improvement Projects Plan to the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia on July 3, 2017. The Public Service Commission approved the joint application on Nov. 9, 2017.
For more information on the DC PLUG initiative, including current status, visit dcpluginfo.com.