TransmissionHub: 2Q13 out of the gate with a blur of activity

Note: See “Related Documents” for complete data chart

The second quarter of the year is fast out of the gate with new transmission line announcements, completed projects and a buzz of transmission activity, including Clean Line Energy Partners’ decision to acquire a 200-mile, 345-kV line in New Mexico.

Three transmission projects, representing 77 miles and $79m of investment, entered service in April, according to TransmissionHub data.

Southwestern Public Service in mid-April energized the 230-kV Hitchland to Ochiltree project, a 38-mile, $27m line in Texas. Southwestern Public Service is a subsidiary of Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL).

Minnesota Power, a subsidiary of ALLETE (NYSE:ALE), completed the 28-mile, $35m Esser Steel/Nashwauk project. The project involved construction on three new 230-kV transmission lines and two new 115-kV lines. Work on the 230-kV lines was complete on March 8, and remaining work was complete on the 115-kV lines in mid-April.

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) energized the Benton to Othello No. 1 line in Washington on April 5. Part of the Midway to Benton rebuild, the $17m, 115-kV project was 11 miles long. The Midway to Benton rebuild comprises rebuilding 11 miles of transmission line along an existing right-of-way, and a new 14.5-mile segment south of the existing corridor.

Three new transmission lines were announced by the Westlands Water District, representing 129 miles of line. The lines are needed to carry power from the Westlands solar park in California. The Westlands Water District is studying three transmission corridors as it prepares its draft environmental impact report. The lines include an 11-mile, 230-kV line; an 87-mile, 500-kV line; and a 31-mile, 500-kV line.

In other project news, Clean Line signed an agreement to acquire Power Network New Mexico, a company that is developing with the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) a 200-mile, 345-kV transmission line. The project will give Clean Line access to the Four Corners area.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on April 26 released the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Gateway West project, a 990-mile transmission line that is proposed to run from Wyoming to Idaho. The final EIS had been delayed while project sponsors and agencies involved in the permitting process worked through issues related to environmental sensitivities.

On April 18, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Transmission Developers Inc.’s Champlain to Hudson Power Express project, a 333-mile, 320-kV underground transmission line estimated to cost $2.2bn. The project will transport power from Quebec to the New York metro area.

American Transmission Co. on April 10 narrowed the route for the Wisconsin portion of the Bay Lake project. The 45-mile, $409m project includes 345-kV and 138-kV lines in Green Bay, Wis.

Disclaimer: As TransmissionHub is continually updating its data, this report may not include every transmission project update that occurred during the timeline that this article represents.


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.