Monthly Project Review January 2017

Multiple new projects were announced in January, including Emera’s $2bn, 350-mile Atlantic Link project, which involves a new underwater, HVDC transmission line that would run from New Brunswick to southern Massachusetts.

That project would move nearly 900 MW of hydro and wind power to the New England market. The project is still in early development and is expected to be completed by late 2020.

AEP Ohio, subsidiary of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP), has plans for a new 17-mile, 69-kV transmission line between the Lincoln and Berrywood substations. The project is needed to address reliability in Delaware County, Ohio, and is expected to be completed in 2018, at a cost of $25m.

Indiana Michigan Power, also a subsidiary of AEP, announced three new projects in January. The first project is the Vicksburg-Schoolcraft Area Improvements Project, which involves a new five-mile, 69-kV transmission line between the new Kalamazoo and Vicksburg substations. The project, which is designed to ensure reliability in the region, has an estimated cost of $30m, and an expected completion date of 2018.

The second project announced was the Gravel Pit Project. Indiana Michigan Power described the project as a new 138-kV, six-mile transmission line between the new Gravel Pit substation and existing Jackson Road-New Carlisle line. The project has an estimated cost of $20m, and a completion date of 2018.

The final project announced by Indiana Michigan Power was the Auburn-Butler Rebuild project, which involves upgrading five miles of 69-kV transmission line to 138-kV standards as well as four miles of new 138-kV transmission line. The project has an estimated cost of $17m, and is expected to improve reliability in the region.

Sharyland Utilities LP has proposed the new Stiles to Coates 138-kV Transmission Line project, which involves a new 7.1-mile line and new substation. The new line will accommodate load growth in the Stanton service area due to increased oil and gas activities. The project has an estimated cost of $18.4m, and completion date of 2018.

AEP Texas, a unit of AEP, has proposed the new Bonilla to Ladekidde project, which involves a new 345-kV, double circuit transmission line between the proposed Bonilla and Ladekidde substations. The project is needed to connect wind generation to the local grid and is expected to be completed by summer 2020.

PPL Electric Utilities, subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL), has plans for the new BuxMont-Elroy Transmission Line Upgrade Project, which involves replacing 8.4 miles of existing transmission line near Franconia, Pa. The line will operate at 69 kV, but be built at 138-kV standards. PPL Electric expects to complete the line by late 2018.

Tex-La Electric Cooperative of Texas Inc., is planning the new Martinsville to Chireno project, which involves a new 138-kV transmission line in Nacogdoches County, Texas. The project is needed to provide a looped transmission service to its cooperative members. Tex-La Electric Cooperative expects to energize the line by summer 2019, at a cost of $11.7m.

One project was completed in January. FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) energized its Maple-Pine Rebuild project in southern Pennsylvania. The project involves replacing seven miles of existing 69-kV transmission line in order to meet rising electrical demand.

Two projects saw significant changes in January. The U.S. Department of Energy issued a Presidential Permit to ITC Holdings for the company’s planned ITC Lake Erie Connector project. The planned underwater, HVDC transmission line would connect between Ontario and Pennsylvania under Lake Erie. The project is being planned in order to bring renewable, gas and nuclear generation to the PJM Interconnection grid. The project is being independently funded at an amount of nearly $1bn, and has a targeted in-service date of 2019.

Finally, Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) staff recommended that the APSC grant  Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation a certificate of public convenience and necessity to build, operate, and maintain the Olmstead to Zion Hill project, which involves a new 6.2-mile, 115-kV transmission line in Pulaski County, Ark. The $4.5m project is expected to be completed by summer 2018.