Evidentiary hearing on proposed 138-kV line to be held in June, SCC hearing examiner says

Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) staff is to file its report by May 10 regarding a new 138-kV transmission line in Washington County and the Town of Abingdon, Va., a hearing examiner said in an April 20 ruling.

As noted in the ruling, Appalachian Power Company (APCo) in March 2016 filed with the SCC its application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to build and operate the proposed South Abingdon 138 kV Extension Transmission Line Project.

As TransmissionHub reported, SCC staff on Oct. 11, 2016, submitted a motion to the SCC requesting that the procedural schedule involving APCo’s project be suspended pending a determination from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

As noted in the motion, the project consists of building the new line on new right of way (ROW) about 3.8 miles long between a tap point on the company’s existing Saltville-Kingsport 138-kV transmission line – about one-third of a mile southwest of the company’s existing Abingdon substation – and a new South Abingdon substation to be built on Vances Mill Road in Washington County.

The project also involves associated improvements to be made at three existing substations in the Abingdon area, including buswork, switches and related equipment, staff said.

Staff said that the company has informed it that the project will not proceed until the FAA has reviewed the final line design and made a favorable “determination of no hazard to air navigation.”

As noted in the April 20 ruling, staff’s motion was granted on Oct. 19, 2016, along with such guidelines as that following the release of the FAA determination, the company would make a supplementary filing, which would include a discussion of the impact of the determination on the project, including any proposed revisions to the project.

APCo, the Virginia Highlands Airport Authority (VHAA) and the county on April 7 filed supplemental direct testimony, and APCo filed a motion to resume the procedural schedule. The ruling also noted that according to the company, the FAA in February issued its determination regarding the impact of the project’s structures on the Virginia Highlands Airport, and that the company and respondents are now prepared to proceed.

APCo requested that the procedural schedule be resumed consistent with the guidelines set last October, with one exception requested by the respondents – namely, the respondents said that they do not need to file any response to the company’s supplemental direct testimony.

The ruling also noted that the company is to file its rebuttal testimony by May 24, and that an evidentiary hearing is to be held on June 20 in an SCC courtroom.

APCo is a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP).

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3231 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.