PEARL RIVER - Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc. is making investments this year totaling nearly $100 million to fortify, improve and maintain the reliability of O&R’s electric system to meet summer peak demands for electricity. That investment builds on the more than $600 million O&R has spent over the past 10 years on electric system maintenance and reliability projects. In Orange County, O&R has completed construction in Chester on its new $10-million Sugar Loaf Mountain Road transmission switching substation across the street from O&R’s existing 69kV Sugar Loaf substation. The new station allows for the needed switching capability and capacity that is required by the O&R electric transmission system for continued service reliability for its customers in Orange and Sullivan counties. Before the new substation was built on a vacant 13-acre parcel, O&R paid $3,293 in taxes on that portion of its property. With the construction of the new substation, that annual tax bill rises to $154,340. Of that total, $109,490 goes to the Monroe-Woodbury School District in taxes and $44,850 goes to Orange County and Town of Chester taxes. Taxes on the existing Sugar Loaf substation total $119,320 per year. Of that total, $84,645 goes to the Monroe-Woodbury School District and $34,675 goes to Orange County and the Town of Chester taxes. Electric system improvements were also completed at the Wisner substation in Warwick and the Hunt substation in Greenwood Lake. Significant distribution line upgrades driven by system improvements and new customer loads were performed in Orange. The major projects were completed on Mine Torne Road in Fort Montgomery, Laroe Road in Chester, Round Hill Road in Florida, Route 17A in Monroe and at the N.Y.S. Thruway at Arden Road Bridge in Harriman. Hot days Last summer’s unusually hot, humid weather resulted in O&R’s delivering more electricity to its customers in July 2010 than in any other month in the company’s 110-year history. The torrid summer’s simmering temperatures and tropical humidity drove air conditioning use to high levels and the accompanying heavy demand for electricity resulted in O&R’s delivering 694,606 megawatt hours (Mwh) of electricity to its customers in July. From June through August last summer, the actual peak load was greater than 1,000 MW on 61 days. In contrast, in 2009, there were only 30 days with a peak load greater than 1,000 MW. Although the monthly all-time electricity delivery record fell with July 2010’s steamy heat, the O&R record for a single day’s electricity delivery still stands at 1,617 Mw delivered on Aug. 2, 2006. However, the fourth (July 6 with 1,572 Mw) and the fifth (July7 with 1,558 Mw) highest single-day demand records were set last summer.