For Immediate Release
Pepco has placed into service two newly constructed high-voltage transmission lines that will enhance the reliability of electric service for downtown Washington and the federal government. The lines, each carrying 230,000 volts, were constructed over an 18-month period with completion in time to meet this summer's peak demand period. Normally, a project of this type would require about four to five years for completion of the permitting approval process and construction.
Pepco accelerated construction of these new transmission facilities in September 2005 following the shutdown of the Potomac River Generating Station in Alexandria, Va., by its owner, Mirant Corporation, in response to an environmental study. The plant, which was reopened under an emergency order from the U.S. Department of Energy, played a critical role in backing up transmission lines serving District customers prior to construction of the new lines. The plant continues to provide support for the regional power grid.
"The fact that these lines were completed on time under an accelerated schedule and within budget is a testament to Pepco's employees and outside contractors who often worked long hours in adverse weather conditions," said William Gausman, Pepco's Vice President for Asset Management. He also credited the DC Public Service Commission for an expedited permitting process and its initiative in gaining support from the DOE for the emergency plant operating order. Additionally, Gausman credited other District officials, several federal agencies, including the National Park Service, and Prince George's County government officials whose support was necessary to complete the project.
The new lines run underground through two pipes a distance of 5.6 miles, connecting a high-voltage transmission substation in Prince George's County with a substation near the District. To install the lines, Pepco installed more than 11 miles of special pipes and heavily upgraded the two substations.
Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 750,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.