Monthly Project Review January 2016

The transmission industry had a seemingly slow start in the new year, as according to TransmissionHub data, no significant new projects were announced last month, and only one transmission project was energized in January.

Southwestern Public Service, subsidiary of Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL), completed its Bowers to Canadian Rebuild, which involved replacing 49 miles of existing 69-kV transmission line. The project had a cost of $36m.

Various projects saw significant updates in January.

Cross Texas Transmission, subsidiary of LS Power Group, received approval from the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas for its Gibbons to Limestone project. The project involves a new 68-mile, 345-kV transmission line at a cost of $206.8m. The project will be jointly developed with Garland Power & Light. The project, along with CenterPoint Energy’s (NYSE:CNP) Brazos Valley Connection project, makes up the Houston Region Import Capacity Project, which has a project cost of nearly $590m (2018 dollars), and an estimated completion date of mid-2018.

The 1A route of the 57-mile, 345-kV Brazos Valley Connection project also received approval by the PUC. Center Point Energy expects the project to cost approximately $307.6m, and to be completed by early 2018.

Appalachian Power Co. selected the four-mile option for the preferred route of its Abingdon and Washington County Area Improvement Project. The new 138-kV transmission line will address grid reliability in southwest Virginia at a cost of nearly $50m. Completion of the project is expected by late 2018. Appalachian Power is a subsidiary of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP).

Oncor Delivery Company LLC, subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp., received approval by the PUC of Texas for its McKenzie Draw–Texaco Mabee project. The 15-mile, 138-kV transmission line 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.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recommended an alternative route for Houston County Electric Cooperative Inc.’s Mustang Prairie to Weldon project. The project involves building a new 13-mile to 18-mile, single-circuit, 138-kV transmission line to connect the existing Mustang Prairie substation to the proposed Weldon substation in southern Houston County. The project is expected to be energized by late 2018.

Finally, the Maine Public Utilities Commission approved the Waterville/Winslow Area Reinforcement Project, sponsored by Central Maine Power. The projects consists of building about seven miles of a 115-kV transmission line, re-rating the existing Section 241A (renamed Section 281) and replacing the Rice Rips 115/34-kV substation with the new 115/34-kV County Road substation. The project’s estimated cost is about $38.3m, and it has a completion date set for late 2017. CMP is a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, which is a subsidiary of Iberdrola S.A.