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New, updated and reliable infrastructure remains the key to future growth for the community. Duquesne Light Company is planning to build a new 138 kilovolt (kV) electric transmission line from Universal Substation to Plum Substation, which spans approximately five miles in the Municipality of Penn Hills, the Municipality of Monroeville, and the Borough of Plum in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  This new transmission line is needed to meet increased demand for electrical power and to ensure reliable electric service for eastern Allegheny County.  The line includes approximately 3.7 miles of 40 self-supporting steel monopoles on concrete foundations and 1.5 miles of underground transmission line equipment. 

We realize you may have questions about this important transmission project, and want to be transparent about all the facts. Please review the information found on this webpage and watch the informational video below to learn more about this important reliability project.


The project has been split into the four areas below to explain the planned sequence of work.  Currently our construction is near or above 80% for all four areas.   We have installed all the new overhead poles and most of the new overhead wires.  The new underground duct bank is mostly complete.  Over the next few months, work will commence in areas to begin removing temporary grading and restoration of the right-of-way areas. The table below summarizes the work and anticipated dates for construction in these areas. Note that some work may continue sporadically past these dates in various locations while crews perform final connections and testing before we energize the new lines. 






Right-of-Way Restoration




Underground Cable Installation




Right-of-Way Restoration




Final Conductor Installation and Right-of-Way Restoration



2017-01-16 Universal-Plum Website Map
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Duquesne Light Company owns and operates electric transmission facilities at the Universal substation and at the Plum substation in Plum Boro. Duquesne Light refers to the proposed transmission line construction work as the Universal to Plum Project.
  • The project entails adding 3.7 miles of overhead power lines, including steel monopoles and new conductor.
  • The project also entails adding 1.5 miles of underground power lines, including concrete encased duct bank, manholes and high voltage underground cable.

DLC must ensure that we provide a reliable transmission feed to our outer substations to support the increasing capacity of customer load, even in the event of equipment failure.

Yes. Pursuant to PUC regulations, this project went through a detailed public review at PUC Docket Number A-2018-3000708. The PUC approved the project by Order dated August 8, 2019.

The new structures will be located along the route shown above.

Yes. The line siting and review process at the PUC included a siting study, which evaluated several alternative routes. Of these routes, the approved route is the shortest and has the least impacts from an environmental, manmade, cultural, and engineering perspective.

The new structures will be “weathered” steel monopoles. The new structures are designed to fit into the natural environment. The new structure is a singular, reddish-brown, upright structure.

The new structures vary in height, but on average, the new structures will be approximately 100 feet high. The Universal to Plum Project must be designed, maintained, and operated in accordance with the National Electric Safety Code, or “NESC.” Current NESC standards provide minimum wire clearances. In example: The NESC provides requirements for the clearance from wire to ground.

No. Duquesne Light Company performed a detailed electromagnetic field (“EMF”) analysis as part of the line siting and review process at the PUC. EMF levels will remain very low at the edge of the right-of-way, and will meet or exceed all applicable government, technical, and public health guidelines.

Yes. In order to construct the line Duquesne Light Co. will maintain vegetation to the extent necessary to ensure the delivery of safe and reliable electric power. DLC may need to perform additional vegetation management to build access roads to its facilities. Duquesne Light Co. will work with customers to do the work in a minimally invasive manner while also meeting its obligation to protect its facilities from vegetation interference.

Duquesne Light Company must routinely inspect the growth around its facilities to make sure trees or brush are not interfering with its facilities. Maintaining the vegetation around the transmission facilities is important to prevent trees or other vegetation from causing power outages or reliability issues. To prevent regrowth, Duquesne Light Co. uses herbicides approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and best industry practices.


Should you have any concerns, please contact the Duquesne Light Company's Customer Service Center at (412) 393-6500 or email specific questions to