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PPL Electric spending nearly $1B on infrastructure in 2013

By - Last modified: February 21, 2013 at 11:26 AM

PPL Electric Utilities will invest an estimated $968 million this year in its most extensive infrastructure upgrades since the 1970s, the company said Wednesday.

The sum will fund an "unprecedented level of work," PPL said in a statement. It said $616 million will go toward transmission projects and $352 million toward improving the distribution system, the network that brings power from the transmission grid to homes and businesses.

Several important midstate transmission projects are part of the work, PPL spokesman Joe Nixon said. Among them:

• Rebuilding the Manor-Graceton and Otter Creek-Conastone transmission lines in York County.

• Rebuilding a 10-mile section of the South Manheim-Donegal transmission line in Lancaster County.

• Replacing the 16.3-mile transmission line from the Brunner Island power plant in York County to the West Shore substation in Cumberland County.

PPL plans to spend $3.8 billion on infrastructure over the next five years, the company said.

The Lancaster Region Reliability Project, which involves building two new transmission lines and a substation in eastern Lancaster County, will not begin this year but is part of the five-year plan, Nixon said.

All the projects are multiyear projects, he said.

Beginning this year, electric utilities may recover some of their distribution system upgrade costs by adding a "distribution system improvement charge" to customer bills. The state Public Utility Commission must authorize the charges; PPL has submitted its application but does not yet have approval, Nixon said.

PPL Electric Utilities, based in Allentown, is a subsidiary of PPL Corp. It distributes electricity to 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania, including more than 430,000 in the midstate.

Graph/PPL

Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@cpbj.com

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