The General Staff of the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) on Dec. 5 requested that the APSC adopt a procedural schedule for Petit Jean Electric Cooperative Corporation’s (PJEC) application seeking approval of its proposed 161-kV transmission line.
As noted in staff’s motion, PJEC in July filed the application seeking a certificate of public convenience and necessity to build, operate, and maintain an approximate 7.1-mile, 161-kV transmission line from PJEC’s existing Bee Branch substation to PJEC’s new Damascus substation, which is to be built.
Staff’s proposed schedule calls for staff and intervenors’ direct testimony to be filed on Dec. 20, followed by PJEC’s rebuttal testimony on Jan. 10, 2017. Staff and intervenors’ surrebuttal testimony would be due on Jan. 24, 2017, and a public evidentiary hearing would be held on Feb. 8, 2017, according to the schedule.
PJEC in November filed an amendment to its application, amending the proposed route of the proposed line. As of today, staff added, there have been no petitions to intervene filed in the docket, but there have been four public comments made on the APSC’s website in the docket.
For instance, an individual, in a public comment received by the APSC on Aug. 10, said, in part, that the line would go across the individual’s "property where no poles or lines are now and none are visible," adding that, “I’m sure others would agree that this line will cause ‘aesthetic displeasure.’”
As TransmissionHub reported, PJEC in November said that the proposed amendment is needed to lessen the burden on the whole for area landowners with the intention to reduce the need for condemnation.
The total estimated cost of the proposed line would remain at $6.6m as stated in the application, PJEC said. The change in the line route would add about 300 feet of line route, which would have minimal impact to the overall cost, according to PJEC.
Among other things, PJEC said that the need for timely construction of the proposed facilities is critical as construction is needed to begin Jan. 1, 2017.
According to PJEC, the purpose of the line and substation is to serve a new 5,000-kV large power customer, relieve substation loading, provide for proper voltage, and improve reliability in the Bee Branch and Quitman substation areas.