volume 66 - issue 1 - january 2016
SMECO makes progress on 69-kV upgrade
In 2008, a load study indicated that the Westlake substation in Waldorf was SMECO’s most heavily-loaded substation. Our Engineering and Operations Department determined that an upgraded line was needed to maintain reliable service to the area, meet current demand, and provide capacity for future development in Waldorf. SMECO began a multi-phase project to address the growing need for added capacity in the more congested areas of Charles County. In 2009, the transformers at Westlake were upgraded, and the load on the substation has grown steadily ever since.
In October 2013, construction began to replace an aging single-circuit 69,000-volt (69-kV) line with a double-circuit line on new steel poles from the Hawkins Gate switching station to the Westlake substation near the St. Charles Towne Center. This construction was completed in December 2014.
In 2015, SMECO began building another 69-kV transmission line and two new substations to improve reliability in St. Charles and La Plata. The eight-mile line will link a new substation in Wooded Glen near Laurel Springs Regional Park with another new substation in Dorchester.
In preparation for the installation of the new line, SMECO began clearing the right-of-way along Route 488 in October 2014 moving towards Dorchester. Once clearing was completed in March 2015, construction began in the spring. Construction of the line is now complete and work is being done to restore the right-of-way.
Construction on the Wooded Glen substation began in March and was completed in November. The new substation is ready for testing and commissioning, which will take place in the first quarter of 2016.
Clearing for the Dorchester substation began in March and construction started in July. Both new substations will be energized by the spring of 2016. The new and upgraded lines and new substations will ensure continued reliability for Charles County.