The District of Columbia Power Line Undergrounding (DC PLUG) initiative is a partnership between the District and Pepco to improve the reliability and resiliency of the District of Columbia electric system by placing select systems underground. Click the video below to see what construction is going to look like on your street.
A Brief Background of the Initiative
The DC Power Line Undergrounding initiative (DC PLUG) is a partnership between the District and Pepco to improve the reliability and resiliency of the District of Columbia energy grid by placing select feeders underground in Wards 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8.
The DC PLUG initiative has a long history, dating back to 2012, when D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray established the Mayor’s Power Line Undergrounding Task Force (Task Force) following severe storms that caused days-long outages for portions of the District of Columbia. The Task Force determined that improvements to the District of Columbia’s electric distribution system to enhance its resiliency and reduce power outages caused by storms would require new investment. Pepco and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) proposed what would become the DC PLUG initiative in response to the findings of the Task Force.
Following the resolution of legal challenges to the program, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed amended legislation into law allowing DDOT and Pepco to move forward with DC PLUG in May of 2017. DDOT and Pepco submitted their application for approval of the First Biennial Underground Infrastructure Improvement Projects Plan (Biennial Plan) to the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia on July 3, 2017. The Public Service Commission approved the joint application on Nov. 9, 2017.
Since the approval of the Biennial Plan, the DC PLUG team has engaged District businesses regarding the project, hosted semi-annual meetings for stakeholders, and executed community outreach activities per the DC PLUG education plan. Feeder 308 in the American University Park neighborhood of Ward 3 will be the first feeder placed underground. The Mayor aims to host a groundbreaking ceremony coincident with the start of construction, currently anticipated to be early Q3 of 2019. Pepco will support the Mayor’s office in executing this event.
DC PLUG Groundbreaking
We recently participated in the DC PLUG Project groundbreaking ceremony hosted by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. The event included remarks from Pepco Holdings President and CEO Dave Velazquez, Councilmember Vincent Gray, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, and District Department of Transportation Director Jeff Marootian. The Public Service Commission and the Office of the People’s Counsel also attended the event.
View the video.
Pepco and DDOT Submit Updated Project Schedule
The DC PLUG team filed an updated project schedule with the Public Service Commission on February 7, 2018, for work to be performed in the First Biennial Plan.
View the filing
Public Service Commission Approves Joint Filing by District of Columbia and Pepco
On Nov. 9, 2017, the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia approved the Government of the District of Columbia and Pepco’s joint application to commence the multi-year initiative to enhance system reliability and resilience by placing vulnerable distribution power lines underground.
View the filing
DDOT and Pepco Submit Application for First Biennial Plan
The District Department of Transportation and Pepco submitted their application for approval of the First Biennial Underground Infrastructure Improvement Projects Plan to the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia on July 3.
View the application
Mayor Signs Amended DC PLUG Legislation
On May 17, 2017, the Mayor of the District of Columbia signed amended legislation into law that will allow the District Department of Transportation and Pepco to move forward with the DC PLUG initiative.
View the amended act