Construction on a project in Charles County that was started in October 2013 was completed in December 10, 2014. SMECO replaced 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.
In 2008, a load study indicated that Westlake was SMECO’s most heavily-loaded substation. Our Engineering and Operations Department determined that the upgraded line was needed to maintain reliable service to the area, meet current demand, and provide capacity for future development in Waldorf. In 2009, the transformers at Westlake were upgraded, and the load on the substation has grown steadily ever since.
An “express feed” goes straight from the Hawkins Gate switching station to the Westlake substation for about eight miles without going to any other substations along the route.
In 2015 we began building another 69-kV transmission line and two new substations to bolster reliability in the La Plata area. The eight-mile line will link a substation in Wooded Glen near Laurel Springs Regional Park with another substation in Dorchester. Construction in Wooded Glen began in March and is nearly complete, and the Dorchester facility will begin going up in October. SMECO is currently setting steel poles along the transmission line’s route. We expect to finish the line by the end of 2015 and both new substations will be energized by the spring of 2016.