PPL Electric Utilities held an Open House June 18 to gather public comment concerning PPL’s new power line project — Susquehanna-Roseland Power Line — new 500,000 watt power lines from Berwick, to Roseland, NY.

PPL Electric Utilities held an Open House June 18 to gather public comment concerning PPL’s new power line project — Susquehanna-Roseland Power Line — new 500,000 watt power lines from Berwick, to Roseland, NY.

Held at Wallenpaupack High School, the goal of the Open House is for PPL Electric Utilities to share information about the potential routes for the proposed power line through eastern and northeastern parts of the state.

“Public input and understanding are an extremely important part of the process we will use to pick a route,” said David E. Schleicher, vice president of Transmission Operations for PPL Electric Utilities. “We will consider all comments we receive before choosing a final route to propose to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for approval.”

Nine public input workshops have been scheduled in communities near the three possible routes, with the Lake Wallenpaupack area included in proposed routes A and B.

Open House

Over 150 residents attended the Open House which did not offer a set agenda. Instead, seven work stations were constructed, manned by PPL professionals ready to answer any and all questions about the project and PPL itself.

“It’s a way to get answers on a wide-range of topics straight from the experts,” explained Paul Wirth, PPL manager public relations.

After signing in visitors received a package of information on all the stations provided. Station two presented an overview of the current power lines and the reasons why this new transmission line is necessary; along with the consequences of not building the new line.

“Safe and reliable service is the greatest responsibility of those who own and operate the power grid,” explained  Schleicher. “This project will provide reliability benefits for our customers, people across Pennsylvania and electricity users throughout the mid-Atlantic region.”

PJM — an independent company that operates the power grid in a region that covers 13 mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states and the District of Columbia — conducts ongoing studies of the electricity grid and annually identifies required new transmission projects for long-term system reliability.

One of the projects approved by the PJM board in June 2006 was to connect a PPL Electric Utilities substation near Berwick with a substation owned by Public Service Electric & Gas Co. Roseland, NJ.

PJM determined that the line is needed to prevent potential overloads that could occur in the next decade on several existing transmission lines in the interconnected PJM system. Transmission lines could become overloaded because of population growth, economic development and increasing electricity use unless reinforcements are built.

Station three offered enlarged maps outlining the proposed routes and how these sites were selected.

The Routing Process, as it is referred to, took into consideration numerous elements before preparing the three routes presented:

• To minimize impacts to the natural and human environment;

• To minimize the use of or paralleling of existing rights of way;

• To minimize route length, construction and cost;

• To minimize impact on existing residences;

• To maximize separation distance from residences, schools, cemeteries, historical resources, recreation areas and other important cultural sites; and

• Minimize crossing of natural resource lands such as state forests, national/state parks, wildlife management areas, designated game lands/wildlife areas, and conservation areas.

Station four offered details on the work that needs to be completed to install the new transmission line along with photographs of potential new tower designs that may be used.

Station five provided a timetable for the project, which includes all the public meetings; application for proposed route to be submitted by end of this coming Sept.; planning and engineering of the proposed route by the fall of this year; construction of the new transmission line in the fall of 2009; and to put the line into service in June of 2012.  

 Stations six and seven provided literature and website information of energy efficiency and how the public can stay informed.

Project Overview

High-voltage power lines are like the superhighways of the electricity delivery system. They transfer large amounts of power throughout the region to ensure that it is available to meet demand – particularly at peak times like searing hot summer days and freezing winter nights.

This power line will run from a PPL substation near Berwick to a Public Service Electric and Gas Co. substation near Roseland, NJ.

PPL will build the Pennsylvania portion, 60 to 100 miles, and PSE&G will build the section (50 miles) in New Jersey. The line will carry 500,000 volts of electricity. The length of the line will depend on the route selected.

Residents can obtain more information and reviews updates on the project by visiting PPL Website  www.pplreliablepower.com or at www.pplweb.com.