FERC: September marks second straight month of no new transmission

September marked the second consecutive month to see a lack of transmission projects entering service.

According to FERC’s monthly infrastructure update released Oct. 18, no new projects were completed, mirroring the amount of activity in September 2011.

For the January to Sept. 30 period, 1,183.9 miles of transmission line have entered service, compared to 1,707.8 line miles for the entire year last year.

FERC also updated its numbers from its August infrastructure update, in which it said the January to August period had seen 953.9 miles of transmission line enter service, compared to 1,687.8 miles of line for the January to December 2011 period.

Of the 1,183.9 miles to be completed by Sept. 30, 654.8 miles were 345-kV, 359 miles were 230-kV and below and 170.1 miles were 500-kV.

The commission also updated its estimate for proposed transmission projects that have a high probability of completion by September 2014. Of the 21,842.4 miles proposed, 11,342.7 miles have a high probability of entering service.

Of the 11,342.7 miles, 8,015.5 miles are 345-kV, 1,862 are 500-kV and 1,465.2 miles are 230-kV and below.

The majority of new projects proposed to be complete by September 2014 are located in the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC), while the majority of projects expected to be complete are in the Texas Reliability Entity (TRE) region.

While no new lines were completed, some projects moved forward. NSTAR started construction on the $106m Carver to Plymouth project, a 26-mile 345-kV line that is part of the Lower SEMA upgrade. The project is scheduled for completion by June 2013.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) board approved $57m of transmission projects in south Texas, including the 138-kV Tilden to Folwerton to Reveille transmission line. The projects will support the Eagle Ford Shale area, which has seen considerable load growth as a result of oil and gas exploration and production.

Finally, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its preferred route for the Gateway West transmission project.

Gateway West is a proposed line between Glenrock, Wyo., and Melba, Idaho, that would include 300 miles of 230-kV lines and 800 miles of 500-kV lines. It is intended to alleviate capacity constraints in the region.

About Rosy Lum 525 Articles
Rosy Lum, Analyst for TransmissionHub, has been covering the U.S. energy industry since 2007. She began her career in energy journalism at SNL Financial, for which she established a New York news desk. She covered topics ranging from energy finance and renewable policies and incentives, to master limited partnerships and ETFs. Thereafter, she honed her energy and utility focus at the Financial Times' dealReporter, where she covered and broke oil and gas and utility mergers and acquisitions.