ALLENTOWN — PPL Electric Utilities Corporation is proposing to build a $4 billion to $6 billion power grid upgrade through from western Pennsylvania to New York, New Jersey and Maryland.
PPL has submitted the project proposal to PJM Interconnection, the operator of the Mid-Atlantic power grid. As currently proposed, the 500-kilovolt line would run about 725 miles from western Pennsylvania into New York and New Jersey, and also south into Maryland, according to a company news release.
The project is in the preliminary planning stages. If approved and built as proposed, the line would help replace supplies of electricity that will be lost when existing power plants retire. It also would help prevent power shortages during high-demand periods, like the prolonged severe cold weather this past winter.
The company has started planning the optimal route and final details of the proposed line. The company plans to seek and consider public input when making a final route selection.
The project is expected to create thousands of temporary construction jobs, company officials say. The project also is expected to encourage economic development as new employers take advantage of the energy supply.
Planners figure, if all goes according to plan, the project could be complete by 2025, assuming construction begins in 2017. Approvals are needed from various regulatory and regional planning entities.
PPL is to be meet with appropriate state and federal agencies as planning for the project moves forward. Further details of the project will be made public as they become available.
PPL owns and operates 4,500 miles of electric transmission lines, and currently is building two major high-voltage transmission projects, the Susquehanna-Roseland line and the Northeast-Pocono Reliability Project.