Monthly Project Review December 2016

Three new projects were completed in December, according to TransmissionHub data, including Transource Energy’s $400m, 135-mile, 345-kV line originating in Sibley, Mo., and terminating at a substation in Nebraska City, Neb.

The Midwest Transmission Project was built to improve reliability, reduce congestion and improve the east-to-west transfer capability in the area. Transource Energy is a joint subsidiary of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) and Great Plains Energy (NYSE:GXP).

Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) completed its new Elm Creek to Summit project in northern Kansas. The $100m project involves a new 60-mile, 345-kV transmission line that will allow for the expansion of industrial, commercial and residential loads near Aurora, Kan.

MidAmerican Energy Company, subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy (NYSE:BRK.A), completed the O’Brien to Webster project, also known as the MidAmerican portion of the MVP Project 3. Designed to connect with the planned ITC Midwest Minnesota-Iowa 345-kV line, the completed project creates a double circuit 345/161-kV path through the border of Minnesota and Iowa. The project was completed at a cost of $258.6m.

One new project was announced in December 2016. AEP subsidiary AEP Ohio has plans for the new Haviland to Van Wert project, which involves a 14-mile, 69-kV transmission line that would accommodate future growth in northwestern Ohio. The $20m project is expected to be completed by fall 2018.

Four projects saw significant changes in December. TransWest Express received approval from the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Department of the Interior for its proposed TransWest Express Project. The 725-mile, 600-kV HVDC transmission line is a joint project by the Western Area Power Administration and Anschutz Corp., that will deliver wind energy to Arizona, California and Nevada from Wyoming and improve grid reliability. The project has an estimated completion date of late 2019, at a cost of nearly $3bn.

Transmission Developers Inc., was issued a permit by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for its planned New England Clean Power Link. The project involves a new HVDC line between the U.S./Canadian border to Ludlow, Vt. Nearly 100 miles will be a combination of underground and underwater line along the bottom of Lake Champlain. The project is being financed primarily from private investors at an initial estimated cost of $1.2bn. The project would deliver more than 1,000 MW of clean hydro power to the New England market, and is expected to be completed by late 2019.

LS Power Group was selected by the Midcontinent ISO as the primary sponsor for the planned Duff-Coleman Project, which is a planned 30-mile, 345-kV transmission project between the Indiana and Kentucky border. The project is needed to enhance grid reliability in the region and has an estimated cost of $59m. LS Power expects to complete the line by 2021.

Petit Jean Electric Cooperative (PJEC) has presented evidence that a proposed 161-kV transmission line is needed to provide service to a new 5,000-kW industrial customer, relieve substation loading, provide for proper voltage, and improve reliability in the Bee Branch and Quitman substation areas in Arkansas, Clark Cotten, senior electrical engineer for the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) general staff, said in Dec. 20, 2016, direct testimony filed with the APSC on behalf of staff. PJEC’s planned Bee Branch to Damascus Rebuild project involves replacing 7.1 miles of existing 161-kV transmission line in order to ensure reliability. The project has an estimated cost of $6.6m, and completion date of late 2017.