A local public hearing will be held on June 28 in Sarahsville, Ohio, regarding AEP Ohio Transmission Company’s proposed Herlan-Blue Racer 138-kV Transmission Line Project, according to an Ohio Power Siting Board administrative law judge’s (ALJ) April 17 filing.
As noted in the filing, AEP Ohio Transco last October filed with the OPSB a pre-application notification letter for a certificate for environmental compatibility and public need to build the new line covering about three miles through Franklin and Seneca townships in Monroe County, Ohio.
AEP Ohio Transco in January filed its application for the project, stating that the proposed line would help cover increased demand for power in the area. The filing also noted that the company asserted that the new line would help ensure the continued reliability of the transmission system and would support the development of the area’s economy.
As TransmissionHub reported, the proposed project, which is designed to resolve thermal overload and low voltage violations identified on the AEP system, is part of a larger program of improvements to the existing transmission service network in eastern Ohio.
AEP Ohio Transco, in conjunction with PJM Interconnection, in 2015 identified multiple thermal-overload and low-voltage violations on the company’s system in Noble and Monroe counties in Ohio. The company added in its application that those violations occurred on both the AEP Ohio Transco bulk electric system (100 kV and higher), as well as the local sub-transmission system, and were attributed to the above-average load growth in the region. The increased load growth in the area is attributed to the Utica Shale industry, as well as associated industrial customers, the company said.
To resolve the identified reliability risk and to provide the area with additional electricity sources, AEP Ohio Transco said that it is proposing to build the project, in conjunction with the construction of the new Herlan 138-kV switching station, which is the subject of OPSB Case No. 16-1856-EL-BLN.
PJM reviewed several competing proposals to resolve the reliability risks in the area and ultimately approved the proposed project along with the Herlan switching station as the optimal system upgrade – the combination project is identified as “Baseline RTEP upgrade #b2701.”
According to the ALJ’s April 17 filing, an evidentiary hearing regarding the project is to begin on July 12 at the offices of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.
The ALJ also noted that regulatory staff is to file its report of investigation by June 13; AEP Ohio Transco is to file all expert and factual testimony by June 30; and intervenors and staff are to file all expert and factual testimony by July 7.