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PPL plans new substations; Infrastructure planned for improved electrical service

January 23, 2013

NORTHEAST, PA — PPL Electric Utilities has made application to the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to build three new electrical substations and a new 230-kilovolt powerline.

The project is called the Northeast-Pocono Reliability Project. The plan is to improve electric service for approximately 250,000 people in Northeast Pennsylvania and the Pocono region. The project will reach from Wilkes-Barre to Lake Wallenpaupack.

“This project will have clear and immediate benefits for all our customers in this region,” said Stephanie Raymond, PPL transmission and substation vice president. “It will reduce the number of power outages experienced by our customers and also will reduce the duration of outages caused by falling trees or severe weather.”

The PUC review process generally takes about one year, during which there are opportunities for additional public input.

The route chosen for the power line represents the company’s best efforts to balance social, environmental and cost impacts while ensuring that PPL Electric Utilities can fulfill its obligation to provide reliable electric service, Raymond said.

“We recognize that there is no perfect route for a power line,” she said. “That’s why we are so diligent about seeking and listening to public input and making changes to the project—where we can—to address any concerns that may be raised.”

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, she said.

Another need for the project relates to the existing network of 69-kilovolt lines in the area that 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 project, which will cost about $200 million, will serve customers in parts of Lackawanna, Monroe, Wayne, Pike, Carbon and Luzerne counties.