An administrative law judge, in a Dec. 5 filing submitted to the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB), consolidated two cases involving two rebuild projects proposed by American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) AEP Ohio Transmission Company (AEP Ohio Transco), and said that a local public hearing on the projects is to begin on Jan. 11, 2017, in Bowerston, Ohio.
As noted in the filing, AEP Ohio Transco in July filed an application with the OPSB for the proposed Dennison-Yager 138-kV transmission line rebuild project in Harrison and Tuscarawas counties in Ohio (Case No. 16-534-EL-BTX). The project would rebuild the existing 7.2-mile section of the Dennison-Yager section of the Dennison-Desert Road 69-kV electric transmission line, the filing said, noting that according to the company, Utica shale activities have led to increased customer load growth.
The circuit is projected to violate future thermal limits under certain conditions, and the line has been in service since 1926, deteriorating to the point where it no longer meets AEP’s Transmission Line Engineering Standards, the filing said. Rebuilding the line would reduce the risk of overloads, enhance reliability, address deterioration, bring the line to current standards, and facilitate the interconnection of new industrial customers, the filing said.
Also in July, AEP Ohio Transco filed an application with the OPSB for the proposed Yager-Desert 138-kV transmission line rebuild project (Case No. 16-535-EL-BTX). The company intends to rebuild a 6.8-mile Yager-Desert Road section of the Dennison-Desert Road 69-kV transmission line in Harrison and Tuscarawas counties, the filing added. That rebuild project is also driven by customer load growth from Utica shale activities, and would provide the same benefits as the proposed Dennison-Yager project, the filing said.
Both projects are part of a larger program of investments to the company’s existing transmission service in eastern Ohio, and the improvements are part of a PJM Interconnection baseline Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP) reliability upgrade, the filing said.
According to the filing, the ALJ finds that the two projects are geographically interrelated and should be consolidated for the purposes of, for example, public and evidentiary hearings.
The filing noted that the OPSB will accept petitions to intervene up to 30 days following publication of a required notice, or by Jan. 4, 2017, whichever is later, and that an adjudicatory hearing will begin on Jan. 25, 2017, at the offices of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.
Staff is to file its reports of investigation by Dec. 27; all expert and factual testimony to be offered by AEP is to be filed by Jan. 17, 2017; and all expert and factual testimony to be offered by intervenors and staff is to be filed by Jan. 20, 2017, the filing said.