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Key Crossing Reliability Initiative

Investing in Our Infrastructure

BGE continuously invests in its infrastructure to ensure that all customers benefit from the safe and reliable delivery of electricity and natural gas.  Since 2002, BGE has invested more than $7 billion in system upgrades and expansions that include natural gas pipelines, utility poles, overhead power lines, underground cable systems, and other equipment.  These projects are expected to lead to fewer outages and faster restoration when outages occur, and have contributed to an approximate 20 percent improvement in system-wide reliability since 2010. 

Key Crossing Reliability Initiative

BGE continuously monitors its systems and equipment in order to continue providing safe and reliable electric and gas service to its customers throughout central Maryland. As infrastructure ages, BGE repairs or replaces the impacted equipment or system components to maintain system reliability.

BGE owns and operates electric transmission lines that are part of the regional transmission system that transports electricity into, out of, and through the BGE service area. Currently, one  segment of BGE's transmission system, which crosses under the Patapsco River next to the Francis Scott Key (FSK) Bridge, is nearing the end of its useful life.

 

The scope of BGE's Key Crossing Reliability Initiative Transmission Line Project is to replace this segment between Hawkins Point in Baltimore City and Sollers Point in Baltimore County.

Range of Alternatives Considered

In 2013, BGE began evaluating the replacement of the Key Crossing segment with a new underground transmission cable system.  The initial study reviewed the use of new high-pressure fluid-filled (HPFF) cables, attaching cables to the bridge, jet plowing submarine cables, horizontal directional drilling (HDD), and construction of a dedicated tunnel.  The study originally reviewed underground construction methods, but the magnitude of the probable environmental impacts associated with these methods led to the initiation of an overhead transmission replacement study.

Link to BGE Environmental Website: http://www.bge.com/SafetyCommunity/Environment/Pages/Default.aspx

The study determined two viable options: jet plowing submarine cables or constructing an overhead transmission line. After discussions with regulatory agencies, BGE selected the overhead project as the preferred option for the following reasons:

  • Environmental sensitivity: the overhead option's environmental impacts would be a fraction of those generated by jet plowing submarine cable through the river bottom

  • Cost savings: building underground cables would cost approximately twice as much as the overhead option

  • Economic impacts: installing overhead lines would have limited impacts on the Port of Baltimore operations compared to the underground option which would significantly impact port operations

  • Workforce development: the overhead option has the greatest potential for local and domestic job creation
     

Link to Overhead Option Summary

Link to Underground Option Summary

The Overhead Solution

New overhead lines will replace the Key Crossing underground segment and will connect with the existing overhead system at Hawkins Point in Baltimore City and Sollers Point in Baltimore County.  The Patapsco River is approximately 2 miles wide where the overhead lines will be placed.

BGE will construct eight transmission towers; five towers will be erected in the Patapsco River and equipped with water-level structures to provide protection from potential water-traffic collisions.

Onsite construction will begin between late 2020 and early 2021 and will take approximately 24 months.  The target in-service date for the overhead lines is December 2022.  At this point, some work will remain, including the removal of the existing Hawkins Point and Sollers Point terminal stations.

Key%20 Crossing Aerial View from Hawkins Point

Permitting Process

BGE is required to obtain regulatory permits for this project which include a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the Maryland Public Service Commission, a Permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, and a Tidal Wetland License from the Maryland Board of Public Works. 

Project Process 

Public Outreach

BGE is dedicated to serving its customers and keeping customers informed and has engaged with key stakeholders about this project for several years. The early engagement and continued dialogue has allowed BGE to incorporate feedback into the project's design that benefit both BGE and its customers.  As the project continues, BGE will continue to share project information and ensure customers and stakeholders have the opportunity to provide feedback.

  • Regulatory Agencies

  • Local and State Elected and Appointed Officials

  • Key community leaders and organizations to provide project information

  • BGE's Local Community Councils; focus groups 

  • Business customers around the Patapsco River/Harbor area

  • Environmental Interest Groups

Link to Overview Fact Sheet

Link to FAQ sheet

Project Renderings and videos

  • Project renderings

Project Calendar

Under this section, site viewers with access to project date information including:

  • Public Meetings

    • Link to Stakeholder List

  • Project schedule

  • Project updates – Construction starting in January 2020; updates will begin

Contact Information

If you are interested in learning more about this project, please contact keycrossing@bge.com

 

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