PPL proposes new transmission line
PPL Electric Utilities is looking to build a new multi-billion dollar transmission line to keep up with natural gas production in the Marcellus Shale and the changing landscape of power generation.
If approved by regulators, the high-voltage power line is still a decade away but PPL has started planning.
The transmission line would start in Western Pennsylvania and run 725 miles through the state’s Northern Tier, into New Jersey and New York, as well as southward into Maryland.
The project would cost between $4 and 6 billion, according to PPL spokesman Paul Wirth.
“The gas industry is one of the impetuses behind it,” he says. “The other is that by starting in Western Pennsylvania we can bring existing supplies of lower-cost power—fueled by renewables and other sources—into this region.”
Wirth says ratepayers would foot the bill, but also reap savings later on.
“One of the things the line would do is enable new natural gas fired power plants to be built. It does that by running through the gas fields of Northern Pennsylvania,” he says.
The company has not proposed an official route yet, but it has submitted preliminary plans to PJM Interconnection—the multi-state regional grid operator.
The project will also need approval from state and federal regulators. If the approvals are granted, PPL expects to begin construction in 2017 and complete the line between 2023 and 2025.