HUGHESVILLE, Md. (March 3, 2012)—Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) recently became the electric service provider for the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) at Indian Head. For many years, Pepco had provided transmission service to NSWC, its sole customer within the boundaries of SMECO's service area.
SMECO already owned the transmission line from the Farmington substation to the Mason Springs substation, which supplies power to the Indian Head facility. SMECO now owns the remaining 3.5-mile portion of the line from Mason Springs to the facility, which allows SMECO to directly serve the NSWC as a transmission customer. The Maryland Public Service Commission approved the agreement to transfer the service from Pepco to SMECO, which was requested by the NSWC. On Monday, February 27, Pepco meters were removed and SMECO meters were installed.
According to NSWC's website, construction of the Naval Proving Ground at Indian Head began in 1890. Occupying a 3,500-acre site, the NSWC now employs a community of 1,300 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support personnel. Austin J. Slater, Jr., SMECO's president and CEO, said, "We are excited about becoming the service provider to this historically significant naval facility. And we look forward to proving our ability to maintain reliable electric service as these highly-skilled and innovative personnel continue their important work."
The Indian Head Rail Trail, a bike and walking path, is parallel to the power line near the Mason Springs substation, and several transmission poles are located along the path. Charles County has agreed to transfer the easement to SMECO.