The general staff of the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) on April 22 recommended that the commission grant Entergy’s (NYSE:ETR) Entergy Arkansas a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CCN) to build, operate and maintain a new 69-kV transmission line.
As noted in the April 22 direct testimony – on behalf of the general staff – of Clark Cotten, senior electrical engineer for the general staff, Entergy Arkansas in March filed an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CCN) to build, operate and maintain a new, 0.3-mile, 69-kV electric transmission line from the company’s 69/34.5-kV Imboden substation to Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation’s (AECC) 161/69-kV Black Rock substation, which is located in Lawrence County, Ark.
The proposed facility would eliminate the need for the existing 10.9-mile, 69-kV transmission line from Entergy Arkansas’ Water Valley substation, presently providing transmission service to the Imboden substation, Cotten noted.
To accommodate an in-service date of Sept. 1, the company requested an order approving the CCN by May 27, which would allow for initial transmission right of way (ROW) preparation to begin, he said. In supplemental testimony, however, Entergy Arkansas said that since AECC revised the in-service date for the proposed facility from Sept. 1 to Oct. 18, Entergy Arkansas is therefore revising its request for a commission order from May 27 to June 28.
The proposed facility’s total estimated cost is about $1.8m, Cotten added, noting that Entergy Arkansas would finance the construction with funds available form various sources, including retained earnings.
Discussing the need for the proposed facility, Cotten noted that the existing transmission service to the Imboden substation is through the 10.9-mile line from the Water Valley substation, and that the condition of that line is such that the Imboden substation cannot be relied upon for a backup source to the underlying 34.5-kV distribution system for any length of time.
The proposed facility eliminates the need for the existing Water Valley to Imboden 69-kV line and would restore the loop capability between Entergy Arkansas’ 69/34.5-kV Imboden substation and the company’s 161-kV Walnut Ridge substation, providing a new reliable source to serve area customers, he said.
Cotten also noted that the Midcontinent ISO (MISO) Board of Directors approved the proposed facility last December, and the facility is included in Appendix A of MISO’s Transmission Expansion Plan, MTEP 15.
The proposed facility would be built on lands purchased and owned by Entergy Arkansas, AECC, and/or on existing transmission ROW, and no additional ROW would be required.
He also noted that the route for the proposed facility is from the Black Rock substation on AECC property, extending under the existing Thayer South to Walnut Ridge 161-kV transmission line, at which point the proposed facility would enter Entergy Arkansas’ existing ROW, cross U.S. Highway 63, and terminate at the Imboden substation.
Cotten noted that according to the company, there are no known endangered plant or animal species or suitable habitat that has a potential to support them along the proposed route. Also, there are no known historic, archaeological or culturally sensitive areas on the proposed route.
He noted that there have been no public comments received in the docket.
Among other things, he noted that Entergy Arkansas has presented evidence that the proposed facility is needed to provide a reliable transmission source to its Imboden substation and has been approved by the MISO board for inclusion in MTEP 15.
“Based on [the company’s] testimony, I conclude that the proposed facility is needed and is in the public interest,” Cotten said.
Entergy Arkansas and the general staff, in an April 26 joint motion filed with the APSC, requested that the commission waive the hearing regarding the application for a CCN that is scheduled for June 9, and grant the CCN based on the evidentiary record by June 28.