TVA issues draft environmental assessment on 43-mile transmission line

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has released a draft Environmental Assessment for construction and operation of a 43-mile transmission line between Kosciusko and Ackerman, Mississippi, the utility announced Dec. 1.

A TVA spokesperson on Dec. 2 told PennWell’s GenerationHub that the project’s total cost is $55m, which is being spent between 2015 and 2018.

TVA is considering the 161-kV project to improve the reliability of the electrical power system in the area. Providing an additional source of power to the upgraded Kosciusko substation would address voltage and reliability problems within Central Electric Power Association’s service area.

The draft study considers the environmental effects of purchase approximately 524 acres of right-of-way easements, constructing, operating and maintaining the proposed transmission line route. The new transmission line would be constructed using steel-pole structures and is scheduled to be in service by October 2018.

Central EPA plans to upgrade its existing Kosciusko 46- kV substation in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to a 161-kV substation. TVA proposes to supply electric power to this substation by constructing and operating approximately 43 miles of new 161-kV transmission line which would connect the planned substation to TVA’s existing Red Hills 161-kV substation in Ackerman, Mississippi.

The proposed project would require approximately 524 acres of right of way (ROW), including about 461 acres of new ROW and 63 acres of existing ROW.

Additionally, TVA would install a second bus with associated metering, communication, and protective equipment at its Red Hills 161-kV substation and provide metering equipment for Central EPA to install at its upgraded Kosciusko 161-kV substation. TVA would also install new fiber optic ground wire on the new transmission line to facilitate communications with the TVA network.

Central EPA serves the area around the city of Kosciusko from its Kosciusko 46-kV substation. Power is presently supplied to this substation by a 21.7-mile, single source 46-kV TL from TVA’s Leake 161-kV substation. This line was constructed in the 1960s and uses primarily wood pole structures that are nearing the end of their useful life.

Additionally, the length and age of this line causes the voltage at the local power company’s current Kosciusko 46-kV substation to fall below acceptable TVA criteria when the power demand is at its peak.

The draft environmental assessment is a document of almost 200 pages and recommends that “no action” is not a reasonable alternative. Decisions are needed about the most suitable route for the proposed transmission line, timing of improvements and any necessary mitigation efforts, according to the draft.

The draft Environmental Assessment is available online or by contacting Anita Masters, Tennessee Valley Authority, 1101 Market St., BR 4A, Chattanooga, TN, 37402. Comments on the draft Environmental Assessment may be submitted until Dec. 14.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3058 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.