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Delmarva Power upgrading infrastructure

$4.4 million project will replace poles, wire in Route 1 corridor
April 16, 2018

In an effort to continue safe, reliable and affordable energy service, Delmarva Power has begun a $4.5 million enhancement project to the local energy grid.

Jake Sneeden, Delmarva Power strategic communications manager, said the project includes installing new, modern equipment to reduce frequency and duration of outages.

Sneeden said enhancements include replacing the optical ground wire near Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. He said the wire is a grounding and communications wire located at the topmost position of the power company’s transmission poles. The wire shields the high-voltage transmission lines located immediately below from lightning strikes and other electrical issues, Sneeden said.

As part of this project, Sneeden said, Delmarva Power will replace 19 existing steel poles with new galvanized steel poles, ranging from 65 feet to 80 feet in height. He said the work will occur along Route 1, between Five Points and Rehoboth Beach, and along Wolfe Neck, Munchy Branch and Holland Glade roads.

Nearly 19,000 customers in the Lewes and Rehoboth areas will benefit from the reliability enhancements,” Sneeden said in an email April 3. “When the project is completed, we expect to see improved reliability during weather events and other incidents that can impact high-voltage transmission lines.”

Sneeden said work will occur between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Delmarva Power has worked closely with Delaware Department of Transportation to minimize potential impacts to customers during the project, he said.

In addition to the optical ground wire project, Delmarva Power continues its $7 million expansion of its Midway Substation. This substation is located on southbound Route 1, immediately south of Wawa in Lewes. The 69,000-volt substation is a major interconnection point with other coastal substations and serves thousands of customers between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach along the Route 1 corridor. The power company built the substation in 2005 and, in November 2015, purchased a vacant 1.62-acre lot that abuts the property.

Sneeden said the company is in the construction phase and working to upgrade the portions of the local energy grid that will connect to the upgraded substation. He said completion of this project is expected later this year.