Harford residents to see more BGE construction activity

Harford County residents can anticipate an increase in activity from Baltimore Gas & Electric workers in the coming months, as upgrades continue the much of the county's electric grid.

BGE's Northeast Transmission System, or NETSI, project will enhance the safety and reliability of the overhead electric transmission system in the northeast region, which runs from Baltimore County through Harford County to the Pennsylvania border.

Aaron D. Koos, spokesperson for BGE, said the improvements will include reconditioning, replacing lines, adding lines and upgrading and placing electric towers and poles in the area. Some of the work has been visible in the area around Routes 152 and 147 in Fallston for the past two years.

Upgrades will occur within the existing rights-of-way which run between the Graceton and Conastone substations in northern Harford, as well as Graceton and Bagley substations and the Bagley and Raphael Road stations. The Bagley station in Fallston has already been upgraded, as has the Graceton station. The Raphael Road station is in Kingsville in Baltimore County.

Open houses to inform residents about the work and how it may effect them will be held at the Fallston Library on Oct. 8 at 4 p.m., Kingsville Fire Hall on Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. and Jarrettsville Library on Oct. 10 at 4 p.m. Representatives from BGE and PJM Interconnection will be on hand to provide information.

"We've notified anyone adjacent to the right-of-way and property owners who may have our poles on their land," Koos said. "Residents are invited to come out to open houses and get an understanding of what's going on."

Koos said residents will see an increase in BGE workers working on the transmission system and clearing any vegetation which could interfere with the transmission system.

The three-year project is scheduled to begin in early 2014. Koos said the project was initiated from a projected growth plan by PJM Interconnection, a regional grid-operating transmission organization which releases yearly reports on growth and power consumption.

PJM Interconnection Spokesperson Paula DuMont-Kidd said her organization conducts studies on the ongoing basis and releases an updated report every February. She said PJM Interconnection has a transmission expansion advisory committee which works specifically on transmission improvements in Maryland.

"There are usually always improvements going on in the system," DuMont-Kidd said. "The transmission system has been around for a while and it needs to adapt to growth and the changing needs. A lot of new factors means you need to fix the existing system."

Koos said while the multi-million dollar NETSI project will not directly affect electrical service to residential or business customers, the upgrades will help to meet growing electrical needs in the area. BGE has almost 100,000 customers in south, central and northwestern Harford.

"Storms generally affect general distribution centers, not our transmission system. The transmission systems are less vulnerable to storms," Koos explained. "But any improvements to the transmission systems will help the distribution systems."

For additional information visit http://www.BGE.com/ElectricProjectUpdate.

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