In an effort to address Sussex County’s growing population, Delmarva Power has initiated a $7 million upgrade to its Midway Substation on Route 1 near 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, said Nick Morici, a Delmarva Power spokesman.
The power company built the substation in 2005 and, in November 2015, purchased a vacant 1.62-acre lot that abuts the property.
A press release from Delmarva Power states the project includes installing of a new transformer and three transmission circuit breakers, and the realigning of transmission and distribution feeds entering and exiting the substation. The project coincides with distribution upgrades along Route 1 several years ago and with the upgrades in the nearby Five Points Substation, a $1.3 million project that involves the installation of three transmission circuit breakers.
“The Midway Substation project will enhance electric service reliability and ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our customers,” said John Allen, Delmarva Power region vice president, in a prepared statement. “This important project is one of numerous infrastructure improvements planned throughout our service territory over the next several years.”
Construction is expected to begin in mid-2017 and be completed by May 2018.
Delmarva Power has filed for conditional use approval with Sussex County to expand the substation northward from the existing substation. Morici said equipment in the expanded substation will be built with the latest sound mitigation technologies used in the electric utility industry.
Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Exelon Corporation, provides electricity to 515,000 customers in Delaware and Maryland. Over the last several years, the power company has invested $222 million to upgrade its Delaware electric distribution system, including the construction of new power lines, substations and other electrical infrastructure.
The result, said Delmarva Power officials, is a 17 percent drop in the number of outages and a 44 percent increase in the speed in which outages are restored.