If you're looking ahead to a long summer cooled by the air
conditioning, the floor fan, the pool pump or the ice cream
maker, PPL Electric
Utilities has you covered.
During the first five months of the year, the company has
completed more than 80 local improvement projects on its
electric transmission and distribution system in every area
of its service territory, leading up to the arrival of peak
summer demand. That total includes about a dozen projects
in the Harrisburg region.
These projects were designed to maintain or improve reliability,
meet increased customer demand, replace aging equipment and
improve operations throughout the company's
10,000-square-mile service territory. All told, the company
plans to invest $664 million this year and $3.6 billion
over the next five years to strengthen, renew and modernize
its delivery system.
"These investments in our communities will pay off by
providing stronger reliability during the summer, when
warmer weather drives demand to peak levels," said Dana
Ferber, regional operations director. "Our customers look
to us to provide reliable service, and we are making the
necessary preparations to be able to deliver on that
In Dauphin County, about 6,400 customers in Lower Paxton
Township will benefit from the addition of a new line fed
from the Linglestown substation, a nearly $1 million
investment. A similar project at the Duke substation will
benefit 3,400 customers in Swatara Township and Hummelstown
Borough, and a new line from the company's Windsor
substation will improve service to 1,200 customers in the
Susquehanna Township area. Also, the company upgraded
critical equipment at its Lower Swatara, Lykens, Steelton
and South Hershey substations in Dauphin County, as well as
its facilities in Lower Allen and Silver Spring townships
in Cumberland County.
In Perry County, the company replaced a 500-kilovolt power
transformer at the Juniata transmission substation in
Centre Township, a $7 million project. It was one of 22
substations receiving major upgrades, mainly involving the
replacement of power transformers, circuit breakers and
switching gear, as part of a long-term planned system
System inspections and electric demand
PPL Electric Utilities' delivery system - which includes
almost 400 substations and almost 50,000 miles of power
lines - is inspected and maintained year-round. The work is
especially important in the months leading up to summer and
winter, the periods of peak electric demand among the
In addition to its system investments, the company also
completed visual patrols and infrared thermal inspections
of its overhead distribution lines this spring as part of
its overall maintenance program. With 33,000 miles of
aerial distribution lines, PPL Electric Utilities scans
portions of its primary distribution system each year to
identify needed maintenance.
The company also is spending $4 million this year in its
Harrisburg region on pole inspections and reinforcement.
The company has nearly 1 million poles across its system
and inspects 10 percent each year on a cyclical basis.
PPL Electric Utilities has also allocated about $45 million
this year, up significantly from last year, for clearing
trees around power lines and vegetation management to
reduce tree-related interruptions, which are the most
common cause of sustained outages. That work continues
throughout the year.
Last July, the company set a new record for energy delivery
in a summer month, delivering 3,823,346 megawatt-hours of
electricity. Demand reached 7,527 megawatts on the
afternoon of July 22, just shy of the daily record of 7,577
megawatts set in February 2007.
The utility handled last year's periods of peak demand
without significant stress on its system, thanks to
investments made to upgrade and strengthen its network.
PJM Interconnection, the grid operator serving 13 states
and the District of Columbia, expects to have adequate
electric supply available this summer to handle high
electricity demand. The peak demand for electricity use
this summer is forecast below PJM's record for all-time
peak demand, assuming normal temperatures.
PPL Electric Utilities, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation
(NYSE: PPL), provides electric delivery services to about
1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania and has consistently
ranked among the best companies for customer service in the