Monthly Project Review November 2016

Four projects were announced in November, including the new Windspeed II project that was announced by Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company, subsidiary of OGE Energy Corp., (NYSE:OGE).

The $190m, 126-mile transmission line is designed to help connect wind farms in northwestern Oklahoma. The 345-kV line is expected to be in service by mid-2018.

Indiana Michigan Power Co., subsidiary of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP), announced the New Carlisle–South Bend project, which involves upgrading 10 miles of existing 34.5-kV transmission line to 69-kV standards. The $15m project would improve reliability in St. Joseph County, Ind., and is expected to be energized in 2018.

The Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation proposed a new 6.2-mile, 115-kV transmission line in Pulaski County, Ark. The Olmstead to Zion Hill project would improve reliability in the region and is expected to be completed by summer 2018, at a cost of $4.5m.

Pennsylvania Electric Co., subsidiary of FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) announced the new Bedford North–Central City West in Somerset County, Pa. The project involves a new 17.6-mile, 115-kV line to ensure reliability in the region.

Three projects were energized in November. For instance, MidAmerican Energy Company completed its 71-mile, 345-kV Winco to Hazelton project. The new line was built mostly within existing right of way in northern Iowa in order to ensure continued reliability, as well as provide additional capacity for new generation. The project had a final cost of $468m. MidAmerican is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy (NYSE:BRK.A).

Southern California Edison, subsidiary of Edison International (NYSE:EIX), completed Tehachapi Segments 4-11. The new lines will open the avenue to tap renewable energy sources to meet state renewable portfolio standard goals. The project involves 250 miles of a combination of 500-kV and 220-kV lines, new substations and miscellaneous upgrades. The final cost of the project was approximately $1.7bn.

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) energized its Couderay to Osprey Rebuild project, which involved rebuilding 35.5 miles of existing 69-kV transmission line in order to meet the growing electrical demands in the region. The line had a final cost of $50m.

Finally, various projects saw significant changes in November. For instance, San Diego Gas and Electric, subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) broke ground on its Sycamore–Peñasquitos project. The new 230-kV, 16-mile transmission project is needed for reliability in the region and is expected to be completed by summer 2018. The project has an estimated cost of $134.5m.

Construction is expected to begin in 2019 on Great Plains Energy’s (NYSE:GXP) $225m Southern Pennsylvania Project, which involves two parts: a west and east line.

The West Line involves 27 miles of new double-circuit, 230-kV transmission line between the existing Ringgold substation to a new Rice substation. The East Line involves 14.5 miles of new double-circuit, 230-kV transmission line between the existing Conastone substation to a new Furnace Run substation. The project is expected to be completed by late 2020.

Pei Power Corporation began construction on its Prince Edward Island 3rd Transmission Cable Project, which involves placing a third eight-mile, 138-kV transmission cable on the bottom of the Northumberland Strait capable of carrying 150 MW and connecting Prince Edward to the mainland. The project is expected to be completed by summer 2017, at a cost of $140m. Pei Power is a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP).

Minnesota Power, subsidiary of ALLETE (NYSE:ALE), received a Presidential Permit for its planned Great Northern Transmission Line. The project is the southern portion of the greater Minnesota Power and Manitoba Hydro transmission project. The total length of the project is expected to be approximately 220 miles, all of which would be operated at 500-kV. The new transmission line is being proposed in order to strengthen the electric grid, enhance regional reliability and promote a greater exchange of renewable energy. 

A Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) hearing examiner on Nov. 9 recommended that the SCC grant Virginia Electric and Power’s d/b/a Dominion Virginia Power’s application to build the Cunningham–Dooms Rebuild, which involves replacing existing 500-kV, 32.7-mile transmission line. The rebuild is necessary to assure continued reliability in the region, and it is expected to be completed in summer 2019. The project has an estimated cost of $59m.

Finally, the Virginia SCC on Nov. 15 said that FirstEnergy’s Potomac Edison has reasonably demonstrated that a proposed project to rebuild the 138-kV Double Toll Gate-Riverton transmission line in Clarke and Warren counties in Virginia is needed, and that the project reasonably minimizes impact to environmental, scenic and historic resources. “Staff therefore does not oppose issuing the [company’s] requested certificate of public convenience and necessity,” staff said in a report filed with the SCC.

The project involves replacing approximately six miles of existing 138-kV transmission line to ensure continued reliability. The project has an estimated cost of $6m, with an expected completion date of summer 2017.