Entergy’s (NYSE:ETR) Entergy Arkansas Inc. (EAI) on July 21 filed an application with the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need to rebuild and upgrade the existing, approximately 39-mile EAI Datto to EAI Jim Hill 115-kV Transmission Line to 161-kV operation.
The project also includes upgrading the existing end-terminal substations, EAI Datto and EAI Jim Hill, and three intermediate substations – Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) Corning North, EAI Corning, and EAI Texas Eastern switching station #8 – to 161-kV operation, all inclusively referred to in the application as the “proposed electrical facilities.”
The proposed electrical facilities are located in Clay County, Ark., and Dunkin County, Mo.
The existing EAI Datto to EAI Jim Hill 115-kV line and facilities were initially built in 1943, with some improvements conducted in 1983. The company added that the proposed electrical facilities are needed to improve operational reliability, low-voltage conditions, and existing area transmission line overloads during certain contingencies in the northeast Arkansas service area.
The project is necessary to provide continued reliable electric service and voltage stability in Clay County and the northeast service area. The company further noted that the present transmission infrastructure is insufficient to accommodate the existing and future projected demands and maintain voltage levels under certain contingencies that include transmission outages on the EAI Water Valley substation to the Jim Hill substation transmission line.
The location of the proposed line, EAI said, begins at the west terminal in the EAI Datto substation and extends east through existing 115-kV substations at the AECC Corning North substation, EAI Corning substation, and EAI Texas Eastern switching station #8, and terminates on the east end in the existing EAI Jim Hill substation. The existing 115-kV substations located along the proposed route will also be upgraded to 161-kV operation on the transmission source side.
The company added that it is expected that operation of the proposed electrical facilities would be coordinated by the transmission control center and operated via supervisory control by the Midcontinent ISO (MISO).
Construction, operation and maintenance of the proposed electrical facilities along the proposed route should offer minimal adverse environmental impact to the natural, cultural, residential, commercial, recreational and industrial environment. The proposed route would be located in existing rights of way (ROWs) and manmade corridors for most of its length. The company also said that the proposed route is cost-effective as compared to alternative new routes because of its use of existing EAI ROW.
The estimated direct cost of the proposed electrical facilities is about $67.2m, the company said, adding that it would finance the construction with funds available from various sources, including retained earnings, debt and capital securities.
The proposed route would have minimal incremental impact to existing stream crossings, wetlands, and 100-year floodplains as compared to the uncertainties and risks associated with a new route, according to the company.
The company also said that the proposed route is not located within 1,000 feet of any parks/recreational areas and is not located within 10,000 feet of any Federal Aviation Administration registered public use airports.
The proposed route does not adversely impact any known/occupied federally endangered or threatened species habitat or cross any National Registry of Historic Places listed sites, the company said.
Among other things, the company said that aesthetic and visual considerations would be minimal because the proposed route is located primarily in rural areas and the existing ROW has been maintained by the company since 1948.