Idaho regulators set intervention deadline in matter involving proposed 138-kV line

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission, in a Nov. 29 order, said that persons desiring to intervene in the matter involving Idaho Power’s proposal to build a new (second) 138-kV transmission line and related facilities are to file a petition to intervene by 21 days from the order’s service date.

As noted in the order, Idaho Power on Nov. 8 filed an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) to build the project “to provide redundant service from the Wood River substation near Hailey into the Ketchum substation.”

The company would like to begin construction of the line in 2019, and have it in service by 2020.

The commission also noted that according to the company, the North Valley is served by a substation in Ketchum and a substation in Elkhorn Valley within the Sun Valley city limits. The two substations are supplied by a single 12.4-mile, 138-kV transmission line from the Wood River substation in Hailey that was built with wooden poles in 1962.

Idaho Power in 1974 obtained a certificate to build a second transmission line to the North Valley as well as related facilities. In 1995, the company participated in public meetings about the proposed construction of a second transmission line, the commission said, adding that there was considerable public opposition to the proposal, based on, for instance, the route that the line would take. At the company’s request, the commission cancelled that certificate. The commission also said Idaho Power initiated a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) in 2007 to develop the Wood River Valley Electrical Plan, and in 2011, the CAC recommended that Idaho Power build the second 138-kV line.

Among other things, the commission said that Idaho Power asserts that the existing 138-kV radial transmission line is aging and needs reconstruction, and that reconstruction of that line would result in “extreme disruption of service … [unless the company builds] either a redundant transmission line or a temporary line that would be removed after construction.”

According to Idaho Power, the proposed redundant 138-kV line would increase reliability and avoid long-term disruption of service to the North Valley, the commission said.

Idaho Power’s parent company is IDACORP (NYSE:IDA).

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3061 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.