Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) General Staff, Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), and the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) on Nov. 8 filed a joint motion asking the APSC to waive a hearing scheduled for Dec. 13 on SWEPCO’s September application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CCN) to build a switching station adjacent to AECC’s existing East Fayetteville station located in Washington County, Ark.
They also asked the APSC to issue an order based on the evidentiary record, authorizing construction and operation of the proposed facilities.
APSC staff on Nov. 2 filed direct testimony, finding that the proposed facilities are needed and are in the public interest, and that certain factors considered by the APSC in determining whether the route or location is reasonable were adequately addressed. Staff recommended that SWEPCO’s application be granted, the joint motion added.
SWEPCO asserts that it does not intend to file rebuttal testimony as there are no contested issues in the docket, and AECC also does not intend to file any further testimony.
The joint motion further noted that no other parties have requested to intervene in the docket (Docket No. 16-063-U) and no public comments have been filed as of the date of the filing of the joint motion.
As TransmissionHub reported, the new facilities would include a three-breaker switching station configuration with two station box bays to serve AECC with two 161-kV transmission feeds. Additionally, there will be minor adjustments to SWEPCO’s existing 161-kV transmission lines to interconnect them to the proposed East Fayetteville switching station, SWEPCO said in its application, noting that all adjustments would take place within either existing right of way (ROW) or on property that SWEPCO is presently negotiating to purchase from AECC.
Discussing the need for the proposed facilities, SWEPCO said that its existing Dyess to Hyland 161-kV transmission line serves AECC’s East Fayetteville station. AECC has approached SWEPCO’s parent company, American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP), and has indicated that AECC needs to expand its existing East Fayetteville station to facilitate conversion of a portion of AECC and Ozark Electric Cooperative Corporation’s 69-kV system to a 161-kV system. SWEPCO added that its existing interconnection facilities must be relocated and modified slightly to allow AECC’s expansion.
The proposed facilities will allow the operation and ownership to remain clear between the two utilities while still providing the necessary interconnection, SWEPCO said.
The total estimated cost to build the proposed East Fayetteville switching station and associated facilities is about $7.2m, SWEPCO said.