Delmarva Power Holds Community Meeting on New Transmission Line - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delmarva Power Holds Community Meeting on New Transmission Line

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Improvements will span 11 miles from Harrington to Bridgeville (Source: Delmarva Power) Improvements will span 11 miles from Harrington to Bridgeville (Source: Delmarva Power)

HARRINGTON, Del. - Big changes are on the way in one part of southern Delaware. At a cost of $21 million, Delmarva Power will be rebuilding a 69-kilovolt transmission line between Bridgeville and Harrington, in order to "install a double-circuit line that will include a 138kV line for a short section near the railroad in Bridgeville. 

Delmarva Power, which held a community meeting on Tuesday night in Harrington to discuss the project, said the action was being taken in order to modernize infrastructure that was built in the late 1950s. Over the 110mile stretch, the utility company will be replacing 300 60-foot wooden poles, with 236 galvanized steel poles that will be 80 to 100 feet tall. Matt Likovich, a Delmarva Power spokesman, said the change would improve reliability. He said the steel poles can withstand hurricane force winds of up to 120 mph. 

"The line was built back in the 1950s," he said. "So a lot of the infrastructure is nearing the end of its useful life. We think it's important to maintain reliability by beefing up the system." 

Since the system is shared by multiple utility companies, the rate-increase will be shared by customers of Delmarva Power, other electric cooperatives, and town-owned electricity utilities, across Delmarva. Likovich could not provide the average increase per customer, but said that it would be marginal. In similar projects in the past, Likovich said that the increases were just a few cents per month. 

Deanna Custodi, of Harrington, said she was concerned by any increase, because she believes the rates are already high enough.

"I've already had a $450 electric bill," she said. "So I'm not for them raising my rates anymore."

Delmarva Power has already invested approximately $1 billion on similar projects over the last five years. The company plans to equal that investment pace over the next five years. 

Construction is expected to begin in March and April for a portion of the line in Greenwood. Construction will then continue in September, and is expected to be completed by May 31, 2017. 

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