APSC closes dockets regarding SWEPCO switching station, EAI project

In separate March 8 orders, the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) directed its secretary to close two dockets regarding a new Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) transmission switching station and a new Entergy Arkansas Inc., (EAI), project, which involves new 115-kV transmission line segments and related transmission facilities.
Two December 2016 orders signed by APSC administrative law judges (ALJs) stated that the projects were approved.

The APSC noted in each March 8 order that there has been no further action in the matters.

As TransmissionHub reported, an order signed on Dec. 7, 2016, by an ALJ, stated that SWEPCO is granted a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CCN) to build, operate, and maintain the new transmission switching station adjacent to Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation’s (AECC) existing East Fayetteville substation, located in Washington County, Ark.

As noted in the December 2016 order, SWEPCO filed the application for the CCN in September 2016; there will also be minor adjustments to SWEPCO’s existing 161-kV transmission lines to interconnect to the proposed East Fayetteville switching station.

According to SWEPCO, the order added, pending APSC approval, a permanent in-service date for the project is in October 2017. The total estimated cost for the proposed facilities is about $7.2m.

The order also said that SWEPCO’s request for a CCN to modify its transmission service to AECC’s East Fayetteville substation is a result of AECC’s expansion of the substation as part of an effort to convert a portion of Ozarks Electric Cooperative Corporation’s 69-kV system to a 161-kV system. AECC’s expansion will eliminate the current transmission configuration and interconnection between AECC’s East Fayetteville substation and SWEPCO’s Dyess to Hyland 161-kV Transmission Line and requires a new configuration and interconnection. The order further noted that AECC’s and Ozarks’ expansion and modifications of facilities do not require a CCN.

The proposed facilities include a 161-kV, 3,000 ampere, three-breaker switching station with two box bays to serve AECC with two 161-kV feeds. SWEPCO’s existing Dyess to Hyland 161-kV line will be modified to interconnect with its proposed East Fayetteville switching station.

The order added that the modification to the existing transmission line will be the addition of two new turning structures as well as about 50 feet of new transmission line. AECC currently owns the property where the proposed facilities are to be built, the order said, adding that upon APSC approval of SWEPCO’s application, SWEPCO will purchase about 1.27 acres from AECC, which is sufficient for the proposed facilities. At that point, the proposed facilities would be built on property owned by SWEPCO, the order said.

TransmissionHub also reported that that a Dec. 5, 2016, order signed by an APSC ALJ stated that Entergy’s (NYSE:ETR) EAI is granted a CCN to build, operate, and maintain the new 115-kV transmission line segments and related transmission facilities in Saline County, Ark.

As noted in that order, EAI in September 2016 filed an application with the APSC for a CCN, requesting authority to build, operate, and maintain the project. The proposed facilities consist of two slack-span line segments about 150 feet each (0.06 miles total) of new single circuit transmission line to provide a 115-kV connection to a new distribution substation being built by Benton Utilities for the City of Benton, Ark., the order said.

The proposed facilities would be built on property owned by the city, including most of the right of way (ROW) for the transmission cut-in to the Hurricane Lake substation, and on EAI existing transmission line ROW. The city owns the approximate four-acre site and would provide EAI ROW on which the proposed facilities would be built, except for a small property gap located between the Hurricane Lake substation site and the existing 115-kV transmission ROW (0.02 acres), the order added, noting that EAI said that it has secured an easement for that small parcel from the landowner.

The Dec. 5, 2016, order also said that construction of the proposed facilities is scheduled to begin as soon as possible to accommodate a projected in-service date of May 30, 2017.

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.