DCPSC Approves Third Biennial Plan for DC PLUG

Washington, DC, Jan. 27, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (Commission) has approved the Joint Application of Pepco and the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Third Biennial Underground Infrastructure Improvement Projects Plan, and the Financing Order Application (Formal Case No. 1168). The Third Biennial Plan is the final phase of the D.C. Power Line Undergrounding (DC PLUG) program. With the completion of construction on all 20 feeders, DC PLUG will provide increased reliability and resiliency benefits to about 26,000 electric customers in the District.

DC PLUG is a multi-year program designed to migrate the District’s most vulnerable overhead distribution lines underground in Wards 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8.  This program represents an innovative public-private partnership to help bolster infrastructure resiliency in the face of growing climate threats. The total investment in DC PLUG is nearly $500 million. It will provide significant economic opportunities for District residents and qualifying District contractors. There will be minimal increases to residential customer bills associated with funding the Third Biennial Plan. The Commission held a virtual community hearing for District residents and businesses about DC PLUG on January 11, 2022.

Within 90 days of the Order, Pepco must identify the estimated start date and projected end date for each feeder approved in the Underground Infrastructure Improvements Projects Plan. Pepco will also file all revised tariff sheets, including the Underground Project Charge Rider and the Underground Rider, within ten days of the Order. Pepco and DDOT must also submit a compliance filing within 90 days of the Order. The Commission also directs Pepco to submit a report on the total costs of the Benning Area Reliability Plan (BARP) since inception and a cost-breakdown for each DC PLUG feeder compared to the original budget estimates as part of their 90-day compliance filing. The Order also requires Pepco and DDOT to update their contractors’ hiring practices in its Annual Update and Semi-Annual Meetings. DDOT and Pepco must make every practical effort to ensure that District residents are hired for newly created jobs through the Undergrounding Act. The goal is to fill 100% of all construction-related jobs with District residents and award 100% of the construction contracts to certified business enterprises (CBEs) or certified joint ventures where a CBE holds a majority interest.  

For additional information about the DC PLUG Initiative, visit the Commission website.