The U.S. transmission industry in 2011 completed less than half the projects completed in 2010, in terms of line length, according to FERC’s December 2011 Energy Infrastructure Update.
About 1,015 miles of line were completed from the January to December period in 2011, compared to about 2,522 miles of line for the same period in 2010.
The only category in which 2011 beat out 2010 was for 500-kV lines. The January-December 2011 period saw 236 miles of 500-kV line completed, compared to 112 miles in the same period in 2010.
About 525 miles of 230-kV lines were completed in 2011, compared to about 1,462 miles in 2010, and about 254 miles of 345-kV lines were completed in 2011, compared to about 948 miles in 2010.
On a monthly basis, December 2011 saw 62 miles of transmission projects completed, compared to about 291 miles in December 2010. Of the 62 miles in 2011, 34 miles were 230-kV lines and 28 miles were 345-kV lines. Of the 291 miles in 2010, about 202 miles were 230-kV, and about 89 miles were 345-kV lines.
No 500-kV lines were completed during December in either 2011 or 2010.
FERC noted that about 1,277 miles of additional lines have been unconfirmed as placed in service in 2011, compared to about 55 miles of lines in 2010.
FERC also estimated that less than half the transmission projects proposed to be complete will be completed by November 2013.
Of the total 19,176 miles of projects proposed, about 9,267 miles will be completed, FERC estimated.
That estimate comprises 2,942 miles of 230-kV lines, 4,661 miles of 345-kV lines and 1,665 miles of 500-kV lines. Total proposed projects comprise 5,714 miles of 230-kV lines, 6,180 miles of 345-kV lines and 7,282 miles of 500-kV lines.
Among the transmission events in December 2011 FERC took note of was the completion of the first portion of the CapX2020 transmission project.
On Dec. 21, Xcel Energy’s (NYSE:XEL) 28-mile, 345-kV Monticello to St. Cloud transmission line was energized.
Other notable news included the approval of the 240-mile, 765-kV Pioneer transmission line, a joint venture between American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) and Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK). The project, designated as one of the multi-value projects in the Midwest ISO’s portfolio, is slated for completion in 2018.
Clean Line Energy’s application for utility status was approved on Dec. 7 by Kansas regulators, allowing the company to move forward with its $1.7bn Grain Belt Express project. Grain Belt is a 550-mile, 500-kV or 600-kV HVDC project that would connect Kansas, Missouri and PJM by 2018, FERC said in the update.
FERC also on Dec. 2 noted the 21-mile, 230-kV Fort St.Vrain – Fordham transmission project in Colorado was placed in to service.