Archive for the ‘Pepco’ category

Update on Pepco’s Capital Grid Project & Summer Construction Areas

May 24, 2019

Last night, Pepco held a community meeting to update residents in the general area of Sherman Avenue and Harvard on the status of their Capital Grid project and where to expect construction this summer.

Below is the map that was shared during the meeting. It shows streets where construction has already been completed (green), and where construction will be this summer (blue).

(Pepco maps showing status of completed and future construction.)

The map identifies Sherman Avenue (between Euclid and Girard), Girard Street (between Sherman and 13th), Harvard Street (between Sherman and 13th), and 13th Street (between Girard and Columbia) as the streets where construction will occur. Work will begin between the first week to mid-June 2019 and is expected to be completed by October 1st at the latest.

During construction, each impacted  street will have at least one lane open for traffic. Additionally, on-street parking will be impacted during construction hours, but will be returned to community use when construction ends each afternoon and overnight. Steel plates will also be used to cover the trenches each night.

Here is their list of construction activites:

Pepco Substation No. 13, at Harvard and Sherman Avenue, with 2914 Sherman in the background.

The purpose of all of this work is to transfer the energy service to the neighborhood from Harvard Street to Florida Avenue so that the Harvard Street substation can be brought off-line to be rebuilt.

The current plan is for the Harvard substation to begin construction early in 2020. It is not expected to be completed until late 2022 or early 2023.

It is also important to note that a future section of Pepco Construction will include Georgia Avenue from New Hampshire Avenue to Girard Street, though that is still in the future and not currently scheduled.

(Residents gathered to learn updates from Pepco about their Capital Grid project.)

Pepco Meets with Community to Discuss Harvard Disstribution Project

January 16, 2019

Travoris Culpepper, Pepco’s Public Affairs Manager, sharing information and taking questions.

As part of Pepco’s larger efforts to increase service and reliability to the District’s electrical system, Pepco began the Harvard Distribution Project in October of 2018 to provide load shedding to the Ft. Slocum Substation as well as preliminary work to upgrade the Harvard Substation. Thus far, construction has primarily been along W Street, NW, between 13th and 10th Streets. Much of this work has been done and construction should be completed on W Street by the end of January 2019 (weather permitting). While this all sounds good, the construction on W Street has been extremely disruptive, with residents along the project describing extreme noise and vibrations causing cracks in their home’s plaster and mortar. These concerns resulted in Pepco hosting a community meeting on January 15, 2019, to provide an overview of the project’s timeline, address concerns, and  provide a general idea of what to expect in the coming months and years.

In response to feedback Pepco received concerning the work along W Street, NW, Pepco stated it heard the residents loud and clear. They will work with their crews to address noise as much as possible. They confirmed that most of the digging along W Street is completed, but that there are still steel plates in use. To dampen sound, they have begun putting wood chips beneath the plates. As Pepco moves forward, they will also consider excavating smaller sections when they have to cut into the existing pavement.

For the Harvard Distribution Project, the basic timeline, route of construction, and how they are parsed by section can be seen in the illustration below. Construction began on W Street in October 2018, and the project will run through Summer 2019 — impacting Sherman Avenue, Girard Street, 10th Street, and Harvard Street.

All in all, Pepco crews will be installing nearly 8,500 ft. of conduit and 21 manholes along the route illustrated above. Residents along the route can expect:

  • Trenching and temporary steel plates;
  • Installation of duct banks and manholes; and,
  • Installation of cable.

The project will also be used, as part of the Capital Grid Project, to supply the Harvard Substation load in advance of the substation rebuild. Set details about the Capital Grid Project’s timelines were not available at the meeting due to the case still being under review by the Public Service Commission. That said, Pepco thinks the timeline for the Harvard Substation rebuild/replacement will be similar to what is shared below, with demolition happening perhaps by the end of this year, construction in 2020, and completed in either 2020 or 2021.

One significant point that was raised by Darren Jones of the Pleasant Plains Civic Association at the meeting was the concern about power outages. Pepco addressed the need to cut electrical service when the new cables and substation are eventually brought online. Pepco representatives were unable to estimate when the power would need to be disrupted, or even for how many people, but stated that once the Public Service Commission has finished with their review and they have a better idea on that aspect of the project, they would be able to better calculate when the outage will occur and what the size of the area will be. Generally, a planned outage will occur overnight beginning around 11pm and last for 4-6 hours. Scheduled outages are necessary when new cables are hooked up and will be necessary when a rebuilt Harvard Substation is completed and connected to the system.

Pepco restated their commitment to work with the community and provide notice to households that they expect will be impacted. Jennifer Kuiper of the Lower Georgia Avenue Main Streets specifically addressed how service disruptions can severely impact small businesses like the ones on Georgia Avenue and requested that Pepco meet separately with small business owners to help ensure that their concerns are heard and needs met. Pepco stated they would definitely do this.

More information will be forthcoming once the Public Service Commission has finished their review of the Capital Grid Project. For now, it looks like most of the construction will be south of Columbia Road and predominately on Sherman Avenue.

Pepco Open House on Capital Grid Project Informative

July 19, 2017

Pepco’s open house at E.L. Haynes provided an overview of their upcoming Capital Grid project. The Capital Grid effort is Pepco’s 10 year infrastructure project that is designed to:

  1. Upgrade the power system;
  2. Increase capacity; and,
  3. Network the system.

Generally, the project will rebuild the substations at Harvard Street and Champlain Street, as well as install new transmission lines from Takoma south to the waterfront. The entire project is estimated to be completed by 2026.

The following video by Pepco provides an overview:

Installing the new transmission lines will impact New Hampshire Avenue from the District line to Georgia Avenue, and then south on Georgia Avenue to Gresham Street. There it will travel west to the Harvard Substation. The video below provides an idea of how the work will be performed on Georgia and other area streets.

Pepco has set up a Web page where people can learn more about the Capital Grid project (click here).

Pepco Hosting Open Houses to Discuss Their Capital Grid Project

July 13, 2017

Pepco is scheduling two open houses where we will share information about their Capital Grid project, which will impact Georgia Avenue and other parts of the neighborhood once it gets underway. The project is a 10-year infrastructure plan that is designed to improve reliability across the system, address capacity needs in the growing Capital region, and make the system less vulnerable to strong storms and other unexpected events.

The Capital Grid project includes rebuilding and upgrading the Harvard Substation at Harvard and Sherman.

Their first open house will include a formal presentation at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School on July 18th (see flyer below). After the presentation, there will be an opportunity to speak with Pepco experts about the Harvard Substation construction and learn more about how it may affect the neighborhood. Renderings of the upgraded substation and other components of the project will also be available.

Highlights of the Capital Grid project include:

  • Upgrading three existing Pepco substations (including the Harvard Substation)
  • Building a new substation in the Mount Vernon neighborhood
  • Installing a new 10-mile underground transmission cable that will connect these substations for greater reliability and resiliency against storms

Overview of Pepco’s Capital Grid Project

May 2, 2017

Diagram showing existing (green) and new (yellow) substations that will be involved in Pepco’s Capital Grid Project.

On the evening of May 1st, Pepco hosted Ward 1 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners to brief them on their upcoming Capital Grid Project. The project’s goal is to build an underground transmission route through the District from the north to the south. This is necessary to create multiple pathways of power supply to connect multiple substations in the Capital area with higher electrical load capacity. In short, this creates a “networked system” that improves reliability and resiliency.

The underground transmission lines will be constructed from the Takoma Substation in Prince George’s County through the District to the Waterfront Substation. The feeders will travel approximately 10 miles, connecting five substations: Takoma, Harvard, Champlain, Mount Vernon (proposed) and Waterfront. The flexibility this will create will support faster service restoration and reduce the potential impact of major unforeseen event.

In our area, work will begin around Fall 2018/Winter 2019 in the area of New Hampshire and Georgia avenues and move south along Georgia Avenue through the Spring/Summer of 2019. On Georgia Avenue, the scope of work will close two of the four lanes as new transmission cables are put underground via trenching. Each night steel plates will cover the trenches. Work will continue down Georgia to Harvard or Gresham, before turning west to the Harvard Street substation.

The Havard Street Substation will also be upgraded and expanded as part of this project, with work commencing as early as 2019 and estimated to be completed around 2022 or 2023.

I will continue to share more information about the construction aspect of this project as we get nearer to the start date. Pepco will also be sharing information directly to the community.

Update on Pepco’s Harvard Substation Upgrade Project

May 19, 2016
Pepco Substation No. 13, at Harvard and Sherman Avenue, with 2914 Sherman in the background.

Pepco Substation No. 13, at Harvard and Sherman Avenue.

Pepco is currently in the process of improving reliability of electrical service and preparing for a growth in demand for electricity in Ward 1. Their efforts to do this are largely centered on the Pepco substation located at Harvard Street and Sherman Avenue.

To accomplish this, Pepco plans to meet future electrical needs by converting the 4kV underground distributions cables in the area to 13kV cables to enhance service and the system’s reliability. Prior to the work currently being undertaken, Pepco crews have installed nearly 17,600 feet of new conduit and 45,000 feet of new cable. They have also replaced 83 transformers. For their current phase of the project, crews will install/replace approximately 18,000 feet of cable, along with 45 transformers, 4 manholes, 4 switches and additional electrical equipment. The construction began in March 2016 and is scheduled for completion by December 2016. A more detailed fact sheet is available here, and includes the map below:

Harvard Conversion distribution map Spring 2016

In addition to the underground power network upgrades, the Harvard Substation also needs to be upgraded. The building contains aging equipment that must be replaced by 2022 in order to meet increased demands for electricity in the area. To facilitate the substation upgrade, Pepco purchased the property to the north (2914 Sherman) and razed it in order to install temporary electric equipment that will continue to provide electrical service while the main substation is off line and being upgraded. The work that still needs to be undertaken is as follows:

  1. Establish temporary electric equipment: The temporary equipment will provide electric service in the area for the entire period the existing substation is out of service during the upgrade. Work to install the temporary equipment will likely start in 2018.
  2. Transfer electric load to temporary equipment: Once established, Pepco will transfer the electric load from the Harvard Substation to the temporary equipment.
  3. Upgrade Harvard Substation: Pepco anticipates the upgrade of the Harvard Substation will begin immediately following the electric load transfer to the temporary equipment and will work with the community to ensure the design of the upgraded Harvard Substation is harmonized with neighboring architectural themes.
  4. Transfer electric load back to the Harvard Substation: After upgrades are completed, the electric load will be transferred back to the upgraded Harvard Substation from the temporary equipment and the Harvard Substation will resume providing electric service in 2022.
  5. Disassemble the temporary equipment. Following the load transfers back to the upgraded Harvard Substation, the temporary equipment will be disassembled.

Additional and future information on the Harvard Substation project — as well as other Pepco reliability projects — is available on the Pepco Web site here.

Pepco’s Beautiful Depression Era Frescoes

March 25, 2015

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit Pepco’s Headquarters at Edison Place (701 Ninth Street, NW), you’ll have noticed two large artworks that appear to be paintings. These are actually frescoes created by artist James Michael Newell and commissioned by Pepco in 1931 for their headquarters building at 10th and E Streets, NW. As the Pepco headquarters has moved, so have the frescoes. They now hang at the far end of the entrance hall and nearby in the ground floor elevator lobby on Ninth Street.

The first fresco that a visitor encounters shows linemen working along the Potomac River (below).

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As one turns towards the elevators, the companion piece again shows linemen working with the Benning Power Plant in the background.

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Both artworks are accompanied by the following informational plaque:

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