Monthly Project Review September 2016

Nearly $402m worth of new projects were announced in September, including American Transmission Company’s new Pleasant Prairie to Rosecrans project in Illinois.

That project consists of two to four miles of new 345-kV electric transmission line, and is part of a longer transmission line that is also partly located in Wisconsin. The project would run from Pleasant Prairie, Wis., to a newly built substation near Wadsworth, Ill., to be known as the Rosecrans substation. The purpose of the project is to address reliability concerns in the region. The estimated total cost of the project is about $55.8m with an expected completion date of 2020.

Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) is proposing to construct a new 115-kV transmission line in the Greater Hartford and central Connecticut area. The 3.8-mile, underground line would be constructed between the Newington substation in Newington, Conn., and the Southwest Hartford substation in Hartford. The project also includes substation upgrades to improve reliability in the region. The estimated cost, including the substation upgrades, is $99m.

FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) announced the new Hunterstown to Oxford Project, which includes reconductoring the existing Hunterstown–Oxford 115-kV line and adding a second transformer to Hunterstown. The expected in-service date for that project is 2017, at an estimated cost of $8m.

Potomac Edison Co., subsidiary of FirstEnergy, has plans for the new Double Toll Gate to Riverton Rebuild project, which involves replacing approximately six miles of existing 138-kV transmission line to ensure continued reliability in Clark County, Va. The project has an estimated cost of $6m, with an expected completion date of summer 2017.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) announced the new Harlowe to Newport Transmission Line in eastern North Carolina to enhance service reliability. Construction of the 10-mile, 230-kV transmission line between the existing 230-kV Havelock–Morehead Wildwood line near Newport and the existing 115-kV Havelock–Morehead North line near the Harlowe community is expected to begin in early spring 2019, and is targeted for completion by June 2020, at a cost of $32m.

American Transmission Systems Inc., subsidiary of FirstEnergy, proposed the new Springfield Area 138-kV Reinforcement Project, which would enhance electric system reliability in Clark County and the surrounding area. The project consists of multiple components, including an approximately 5.5-mile transmission line. The new facilities are estimated to cost approximately $40m. If approved, construction is expected to begin in December 2017.

AEP Ohio announced the Good Hope–Harrison #2 Rebuild project, which involves replacing 14.4 miles of existing 138-kV transmission line to ensure reliability. The project has an estimated cost of $5.4m, and is expected to be completed in late 2018. AEP Ohio is a subsidiary of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP).

ITCTransmission’s proposed Huntley to Wilmarth 345-kV Project is a market efficiency project planned for southern Minnesota. The project would offer improved reliability, substantial economic advantages, as well as the accommodation of future wind additions in Iowa and Minnesota. The project is estimated to cost $80.9m, and has an in-service date of 2022.

Entergy Louisiana, subsidiary of Entergy (NYSE:ETR), announced the Ninemile Area Rebuild Project, which would reduce power outages in Jefferson Parish. Some of the new 115-kV lines would be reconductored, while others would be rebuilt as 230-kV lines. The project would improve the reliability of the transmission grid for Entergy’s $655m Ninemile natural gas power plant in Westwego. The project is expected to be completed by summer 2020, at a cost of $75m.

Three projects were energized in September, according to TransmissionHub data.

Great River Energy completed its Elko New Market and Cleary Lake Transmission Upgrade Project, which involved rebuilding nearly 3.5 miles of existing 69-kV lines to 115-kV standards, as well as various other improvements. The project was completed at a cost of $18.9m.

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) put into service its Hampton–Rochester–La Crosse 345-kV Project. The new 345-kV, 153-mile line was built to ensure continued reliable service between the Minnesota and Wisconsin border. Xcel completed the line at a cost of $500m.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power completed its Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission project, which involved a new 62-mile, 230-kV double-circuit transmission line from the Barren Ridge switching station to the Haskell Canyon switching station. The project will provide LADWP customers access to 1,000 MW of wind and solar power from a variety of sources. The project had a final cost of $300m.

Finally, many projects saw changes in September.

For instance, Southwestern Public Service Co., subsidiary of Xcel Energy, received a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recommendation for “Route L” for its Tuco to Yoakum to Hobbs project. The project involves a new 159-mile, 345-kV transmission line at a cost $242m. The project is expected to be completed by summer 2020.

FirstEnergy’s Pierce Brook to Lewis Run project received recommendation for “Route 7” by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). The project involves a new 15-mile, 230-kV transmission line in McKean County, Pa. The project is being proposed to improve grid reliability in the region at a cost of $10.1m.

Sharyland Utilities LP received approval from the PUC of Texas for two of its projects. The first project approved was the Glass to Tall City project. The new 13-mile, 138-kV transmission line will address load growth in Midland County, Texas. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, at a cost of $13.8m.

The second Sharyland Utilities project approved was the Sale Ranch to Natural Dam project. The 17-mile, 138-kV transmission line will address new load growth in Howard County, Texas, at a cost of $17.4m. The project is expected to be completed by summer 2017.

The Lower Colorado River Authority received approval from the PUC of Texas for its Zorn to Marion project near San Antonio, Texas. The new 14-mile, 345-kV project is being proposed to address the growing region’s reliability concerns. The project will cost an estimated $46.8m, and needs to be placed into service by the end of 2019.

Appalachian Power Co., subsidiary of AEP, broke ground on its Charleston Area Improvements Project, which involves rebuilding five miles of an existing 138-kV transmission line, constructing a new substation, and making significant upgrades to additional substations to provide the downtown area with continued reliable electric service. The project has an estimated cost of $110m, and a completion date of summer 2019.

Eversource Energy received approval from the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority for its Towantic Switching Station project. The project involves building a new 115-kV switching station adjacent to the Towantic generating station, modifying 115-kV electric transmission facilities from the Bunker Hill substation, located at Clough Road in Waterbury, south to the Towantic switching station, and modifying 115-kV electric transmission facilities from the new switching station south to Structure 1446 near the Oxford substation, located at Commerce Drive in Oxford. The project is needed to ensure reliability in the region, and is expected to be completed by fall 2017.