NCUC public staff recommends approval for Duke Energy Progress’ proposed line

The public staff of the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC), in a July 5 letter to the NCUC chief clerk, recommended that the NCUC issue a certificate of environmental compatibility and public convenience and necessity requested by Duke Energy Progress for the company’s proposed 230-kV line.

As TransmissionHub reported, Duke Energy Progress in late March filed with the NCUC the application to build the approximately 12.4-mile line, which would originate at the proposed Grants Creek 230-kV substation and terminate at the Jacksonville 230-kV substation.

The Jacksonville substation was built in the early 1970s, is part of a network and a critical hub to transmission lines that provide reliable delivery of electricity to communities throughout the region and beyond Jacksonville, the company added in its application.

The transmission system includes lines in every county that Duke Energy serves, the company said, adding that maintaining the transmission backbone is critical to ensuring that electricity remains reliable in the future.

According to the project’s “Routing Study and Environmental Report,” the total project cost estimated for the new Grants Creek–Jacksonville 230-kV North Line project, including the new Grants Creek substation, is about $40m.

The project schedule noted in the report calls for construction to occur from September 2018 to November 2019, with the project being in service in November 2019.

Public staff said in its July 5 letter that based upon its investigation of the application, exhibits, and other matters of record, it believes that Duke Energy Progress has demonstrated that the proposed transmission line is necessary, that when compared with reasonable alternative courses of action, construction of the line in the proposed location is reasonable, preferred, and in the public interest, that the estimated costs associated with the line are reasonable, that the impact of the line on the environment is justified considering the state of available technology, and that the environmental compatibility, public convenience, and necessity requires the transmission line.

A July 11 order signed by a deputy clerk with the NCUC noted that an order that the commission issued in April, among other things, scheduled a public witness hearing on the application to be held in Onslow County on July 12, and an expert witness hearing to be held in Raleigh on July 13. The April order noted that the hearing may be canceled if no significant protests are filed with the commission.

The July 11 order noted that Duke Energy Progress is the only party to file testimony in the docket and that the NCUC has not received any petitions to intervene or protests in the docket.

The NCUC on July 8 issued an order canceling the public witness hearing that was scheduled to be held on July 12. The July 11 order also said that Duke Energy Progress on July 11 filed a motion requesting that the NCUC cancel the expert witness hearing scheduled for July 13.

“Based on the foregoing and the record, the presiding commissioner finds good cause to cancel the expert witness hearing scheduled for Wednesday, July 13, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. in Raleigh, and to accept into evidence [Duke Energy Progress’] application, testimony and exhibits,” the July 11 order said. “Further, the presiding commissioner finds good cause to order that [the company] file a proposed order” by Aug. 12.

Duke Energy Progress is a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK).

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3109 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.