Monthly Project Review April 2017

More than $75.7m worth of new projects were announced in April, according to TransmissionHub data. Four new projects were proposed last month, including one announced by American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) subsidiary, Appalachian Power.

Appalachian Power last month said that its proposed Huntington Area Improvements Project involves a new three-mile, single circuit, 138-kV transmission line in Huntington, W.Va.  The estimated $25m project is needed to ensure reliability in the region. Transmission line construction is expected to begin in early 2018, and be completed by fall 2018, with the substation upgrades completed by mid-2019.

Southwestern Electric Power Company, also a subsidiary of AEP, announced two projects last month, including the North Shreveport-Longwood Transmission Line Rebuild Project, which involves replacing 16 miles of existing 138-kV transmission line. The project begins at the Arsenal Hill substation and terminates at the Longwood substation. The project will ensure reliability at an estimated cost of $18m.

The other SWEPCO project is the Texarkana Area Improvements project, which involves replacing 11 miles of existing 69-kV transmission line between the 39th Street and Bann substations. The estimated $23m project will ensure reliability in the Texarkana region, and is expected to be completed by late 2019.

Oncor Delivery Company LLC has plans for the Littman-Phillips Andrews project, which involves a new, approximately 11.1-mile, 138-kV transmission line between the existing Oncor Littman substation and the proposed Phillips Andrews Tap in Andrews County, Texas. The approximately $9.7m project is needed to support continued load growth in the region, and is expected to be complete by summer 2018.

Westar Energy was the only company to complete a project in April. The Jeffrey to East Manhattan line project was a rebuild of the existing line in Kansas. The new line was built to 345-kV standards, but will operate initially at 230 kV. The nearly 26-mile-long line will address reliability issues.

Four projects saw significant changes in April. For instance, PJM Interconnection on April 6 said that its board has approved lifting the suspension on the Artificial Island project, which PJM said will strengthen the reliability and transmission of high-voltage power from two nuclear generating stations in southern New Jersey. The board reinforced support for building the 230-kV line from the area where the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear facilities operate to a new substation to be built in northern Delaware, PJM said. The approximate $280m project is expected to be in service in 2020.

The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), in an April 6 interim order, said that in order to implement the $55m “Railroad Route” for a 230-kV transmission project, Virginia Electric and Power (Dominion Virginia Power) is to request Prince William County, Va., to take the actions necessary to remove any legal constraints blocking construction of that route. As noted in the interim order, Dominion Virginia Power in November 2015 filed an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the proposed Haymarket 230-kV double circuit transmission line and 230-34.5-kV Haymarket substation. The company now goes by Dominion Energy Virginia.

AEP’s Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) on April 3 said that it has determined that the best solution for its Auburn-Butler Transmission Line Rebuild project in DeKalb County is to rebuild a portion of the existing line, while using a new route along county roads for the remainder. Pre-construction activities are anticipated to begin in early 2018, followed by transmission line construction, which should be complete towards the end of 2018, I&M said. According to a project fact sheet, the approximately $17m project involves rebuilding about five miles of 69-kV transmission line to 138-kV; building about four miles of new 138-kV transmission line; enhancements to support industrial customers; and replacing wood poles with steel monopoles.

Finally, I&M on April 7 said that it is launching the approximately $42m Jackson Road-Marshall Transmission Line Rebuild Project, which includes upgrading about 13 miles of 34.5-kV transmission line to 69 kV, building the new Vintage substation, retiring the LaPaz substation, and improving the Quinn substation. I&M added that the proposed routes extend from the south side of South Bend into northern Marshall County. According to a project fact sheet, the facilities will be placed in service in 2018.