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 that is intended to resolve all matters pertinent to the company’s proposed Dennison-Yager 138-kV Transmission Line Rebuild Project.
In the stipulation, 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 rebuild project, subject to certain conditions.
As noted in the stipulation, the company proposes to rebuild the existing 7.2-mile Dennison-Yager 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, and rebuilding the line would mitigate the overloading risk, as well as enhance reliability for area customers, the stipulation said.
Among other things, the project would also facilitate the interconnection of new industrial customers to the AEP Ohio transmission system and support future economic development in the area, the stipulation said. The project, as well as the adjacent Yager-Desert 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 said.
The record establishes the need for the proposed rebuild project, and establishes that the project will serve the public interest, convenience and necessity.
Among other things, the conditions listed in the stipulation call for the facility to be installed on the company’s preferred route, and that the certificate is 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.
Also, prior to the start of construction, the company is to develop a public information program that informs affected property owners of the nature of the project, specific contact information of company personnel who are familiar with the project, the proposed timeframe for project construction, and a schedule for restoration activities.
The stipulation further noted that before construction begins, the company is to finalize its “Phase I” cultural resources survey program for the line, laydown areas, and access roads acceptable to staff and the Ohio Historic Preservation Office.
In addition, the company is to contact staff, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service within 24 hours if state or federal threatened or endangered species are encountered during construction activities. The stipulation also noted that work within 660 feet of a bald eagle nest or within the direct line of site of a nest is to be restricted from Jan. 15 through July 31.
AEP Ohio Transco is a wholly owned subsidiary of AEP Transmission Company LLC.