Monthly Project Review November 2015

Approximately $918m worth of new projects were completed in November, including BC Hydro and Power Authority’s Interior to Lower Mainland (ILM) Project in British Columbia, according to TransmissionHub.

The ILM project, energized last month, involved a new 153-mile, 500-kV transmission line running between Merrit and Coquitlan, BC. The project was built to reduce congestion in the lower mainland near the Vancouver Island region. The final cost of the project was approximately C$743.

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) completed two projects in November. The first project energized was the Big Eddy–Knight Transmission Project between Oregon and Washington. The new 28-mile, 500-kV line cost nearly $200m, and was built to increase transfer capacity in the region for increased wind project development.

The second BPA project completed was the Central Ferry to Lower Monumental Project. The 38-mile, 500-kV transmission line was built to accommodate 800 MW of additional power flow east of the Cascade Mountains due to wind development. The final cost of the project was $99m.

Southwestern Public Service Co. (SPS) also completed two projects recently. The 42-mile, 230-kV Potash Junction to Roadrunner project was completed late October at a cost of around $59m. The project was needed for reliability purposes to meet growing regional electricity demand near Carlsbad, N.M.

SPS’ other recently completed project is the Battle Axe­–Roadrunner 115-kV transmission line. The project involved a new 20-mile line, as well as the new Battle Axe substation in order to improve electric service reliability in the region. The final cost of the project was approximately $15.5m. SPS is a direct subsidiary of Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL).

Two new projects were announced in November.

For instance, Appalachian Power Co. announced the new Southeast Cabell County Area Improvement Project to increase reliability in the West Virginia region. The project involves a new four-mile, 138-kV transmission line in addition to a new substation. The project has a cost estimate of $20m, and is expected to be completed by late 2017. Appalachian Power Co. is a subsidiary of American Electric Power(NYSE:AEP).

Oncor Delivery Company LLC, subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp., is planning a new 15-mile, 138-kV transmission line in Andrews County, Texas. The project is needed for improved reliability in the region and has a cost estimate of $16.4m. Oncor expects to energize the line by the end of 2017.

Finally, four projects saw changes in November.

Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) cancelled its $350m, 36-mile, 345-kV Central Connecticut Reliability Project due to a shift towards more planned, smaller targeted transmission projects throughout Connecticut to address reliability needs.

Clean Line Energy Partners received approval by the Illinois Commerce Commission for its Grain Belt Express Clean Line. The project involves a new 750-mile, 600-kV transmission line at a cost of nearly $2.2bn to support new renewable energy development across the Midwest. The line is expected to be completed by late 2019.

Clean Line Energy Partners also received a final environmental impact statement from the U.S. Department of Energy for its Plains and Eastern Clean Line Project that will stretch from Oklahoma to Tennessee. The $2.5bn project, with a capacity of 4,000 MW, will connect renewable energy produced in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas to population centers in the east via a new 700-mile, 600-kV HVDC transmission line. The project is expected to be completed by late 2020.

The Elm Creek to Summit project, sponsored by Westar Energy (NYSE: WR), broke ground in November. The 60-mile, 345-kV transmission line project is estimated to cost $112.8m, and is scheduled for completion in late 2016.  The line will allow for the expansion of industrial, commercial and residential loads in the Cloud County, Kansas, area.