Monthly Project Review April 2015

Nearly $1.5bn worth of new projects were energized in April, including Great River Energy’s Brookings County to Hampton project, according to TransmissionHub data.

The Brookings County to Hampton project involved the construction of more than 250 miles of predominately 345-kV line. The project created a new 345-kV path through southern Minnesota, by connecting Xcel Energy’s (NYSE:XEL) Brookings County substation to the Twin Cities. The project had a final cost of nearly $662m.

Xcel Energy announced in early April that it had completed its 240-mile Fargo–St. Cloud 345-kV Project. The double circuit transmission line was built to improve community reliability in the southern Red River Valley and the Fargo, Alexandria and St. Cloud areas. In addition, the project will support additional generation development, including renewable generation, in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota. The project had a final cost of $750m.

American Transmission Company (ATC) completed its Monroe County–Council Creek Project. All transmission line work was completed within the existing right of way (ROW). A new Timberwolf substation was also constructed to allow for greater flexibility within the 69-kV system. The 161-kV, 17-mile transmission line had a final cost of $51.8m.

Dominion (NYSE:D) energized its 230-kV, 11-mile Shawboro to Aydlett project in Virginia. The project was needed to add capacity to the 230-kV system in the area to assure reliable service. The project had a final cost of $31m.

Six new projects totaling nearly $500m were also announced in April. Two of those announcements came from Vermont Electric Power Company(VELCO).

VELCO proposed a new Coolidge to Ascutney Rebuild project, which is a planned rebuild of the existing 115-kV line in Central Vermont to address reliability concerns in the region. The project will also include rebuilding associated 46-kV lines, the Chelsea substation, splitting the Hartford capacitor bank and installing a static var compensator at the Ascutney substation. The total cost of the project is estimated at $138m, with a completion date of late 2017.

VELCO also announced the new Coolidge to Cold River Rebuild project, which is a planned replacement of the existing transmission line in Central Vermont. The project is needed to address reliability issues in the region. The project has an estimated cost of $172m and would be needed by 2018.

Puget Sound Energy, subsidiary of Puget Energy (NYSE: PSD), proposed the new Portal Way–Lynden Rebuild project, which would involve replacing eight miles of existing 115-kV line. The rebuild project is estimated to cost $25m, and should be in service by 2018.

Snohomish County PUD No. 1 proposed the new Turner to Woods Creek project, which involves 22.7 miles of new 115-kV transmission line at a cost of $25m. It is scheduled to be in service by 2020.

ATC announced the new St. Martins – Edgewood – Mukwonago Rebuild project, which is a planned rebuild of approximately 14.3 miles of existing 138-kV transmission line. The original lines were built around 1924, and are in need of replacement to ensure reliability in the region. The project has an estimated cost of $24.7m, with an in-service date of late 2018.

National Grid USA, subsidiary of National Grid (NYSE:NGG), announced the new Merrimack Valley Reliability Project. The new 17.9-mile transmission line will be a continuation of the proposed 3124 Line in New Hampshire and will terminate at the Scobie Pond substation. Approximately 6.5 miles of the project will be located within existing ROW. The project is needed to address transmission system reliability issues in the Greater Boston and southern New Hampshire areas. The project has a cost estimate of $123m, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

In addition, many projects saw significant changes in April. For instance, Xcel Energy’s Pawnee to Daniels Park project was approved by Colorado state regulators. The project involves a new 115-mile, 345-kV transmission line at a cost of $178m. The project has a proposed completion date of late 2020.

Entergy Gulf States Louisiana received approval from the Midcontinent ISO Board of Directors to go forward with its Lake Charles Transmission Project, which involves a new 25-mile, 500-kV transmission line to improve reliability and efficiency in the region. The project has a cost of $187m, and completion date of late 2015. Entergy Gulf States Louisiana is a subsidiary of Entergy (NYSE:ETR).

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. received approval from Colorado state regulators for its Burlington to Lamar project. The new line is a single-circuit, 230-kV transmission line that will interconnect the Burlington and Lamar substations. The project, which will be 90 miles to 110 miles long, will increase grid reliability and wind generation expansion in eastern Colorado. The project has an estimated cost of $72.6m, and is expected to be in service by the end of 2020.

CenterPoint Energy (NYSE:CNP) received approval from Texas state regulators for its planned Zenith to Franz Project, which involves a new 138-kV transmission line in Harris County, Texas, to improve reliability. The project has a cost estimate of $11.2m, depending on the final route chosen, and completion date of summer 2017.

Central Hudson Gas and Electric’s Dutchess County Rebuild project received final approval from New York state regulators. The project involvesrebuilding the existing Pleasant Valley to Todd Hill C and the Todd Hill to Fishkill Plains A lines, which were both built in 1948. The project will ensure continued reliable service in Dutchess County, N.Y. The project has a cost estimate of $11.7m, with a completion date of late 2015. Central Hudson is a subsidiary of Fortis.