In an effort to improve reliability, Pepco, the utility serving Maryland and Washington, DC, has two construction projects in progress that will help maintain the supply of electricity for its customers.

Pepco is installing two 230,000-volt underground power lines next to two existing lines of the same voltage, effectively doubling the capacity of electricity that Pepco can deliver along the route, which runs from Oxon Hill, Md., to the District of Columbia.

Because the new lines are being installed largely along an existing route, the environmental impact associated with the construction has been minimized. Construction began early in 2006 and is expected to be completed this summer.

The utility is also building a new substation in Washington, D.C. The facility will meet the growing demand for electricity brought on by a revitalization of the East End and Northeast portions of the District.

Substations are a crucial link in the electric system. They step down high voltage to lower voltage. The power is then distributed over several lines to be safely used by residential and commercial customers.            EC