AEP Ohio Transmission Company (AEP Ohio Transco) and the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) staff on Jan. 19 submitted for adoption by the OPSB a joint stipulation and recommendation, which is intended to resolve all matters pertinent to the company’s proposed Yager-Desert Road 138-kV Transmission Line Rebuild Project.
The parties recommended that the OPSB issue a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for construction and operation of the preferred route of the line rebuild, as identified by the company in its application, and subject to certain conditions, according to the stipulation.
As noted in the stipulation, the company proposes to rebuild the existing 6.8-mile Yager-Desert Road section of the Dennison-Desert Road 69-kV electric transmission line in Harrison and Tuscarawas counties in Ohio with a 138-kV electric transmission line.
Due to increased customer load growth in the area stemming from the Utica shale gas play, the circuit was determined to violate thermal limits in the future under certain conditions, the stipulation said, adding that rebuilding the line would mitigate the overloading risk and enhance reliability for area customers, as well as resolve issues associated with the deterioration of the line and bring the line to current design standards.
The proposed project would improve local service for customers, decrease power interruptions, improve resiliency of the system, and speed recovery of local service when outages do occur, according to the stipulation.
The project, as well as the adjacent Dennison-Yager Road 138-kV Transmission Line Rebuild Project and Yager 138-69-kV substation, are part of a PJM Interconnection baseline RTEP reliability upgrade (identifier b2501).
The stipulation added that the record establishes the need for the rebuild project, as well as establishes that the proposed preferred route for the project represents the minimum adverse environmental impact, considering the state of available technology and the nature and economics of the various alternatives, and other pertinent considerations.
Among other recommended conditions, the stipulation noted that the facility is to be installed on the company’s preferred route, and the company is conduct a preconstruction conference prior to the start of any construction activities. Also, within 60 days after the start of commercial operation, the company is to submit to staff a copy of the as-built specifications for the entire facility.
The stipulation further noted that a condition calls for the certificate to become invalid if the company has not started a continuous course of construction of the proposed facility within five years of the date of issuance of the certificate.
In addition, the company is to adhere to seasonal cutting dates of Oct. 1 through March 31 for removal of any trees greater than or equal to three inches in diameter, unless coordination efforts with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allow a different course of action, the stipulation said.
AEP Ohio Transco is a wholly owned subsidiary of AEP Transmission Company LLC.