American Electric Power’s (NYSE: AEP) AEP Ohio Transmission Company (AEP Ohio Transco) and the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) staff – at times, collectively referred to in the filing as the parties – on June 14 submitted and recommended for adoption by the OPSB a joint stipulation and recommendation that is intended by the parties to resolve all matters pertinent to the company’s proposed Lamping-Rouse 138-kV Transmission Line Project.
The company proposes to build the new line from the proposed Lamping substation southeast to the proposed Rouse substation in Monroe County, Ohio, the filing said.
The project is one component of the overall Southeast Ohio Area Improvements Program, the filing said, noting that the project and the program would provide additional transmission service to Monroe County to improve electric service reliability in the southeastern Ohio area. Much of the area is now served by an extensive 23-kV distribution system, which will be retired and replaced with the proposed 138-kV transmission system, the filing noted.
The benefits of the project include supporting economic development in the area, faster recovery of service after outages, fewer service interruptions, and overall improved service, the filing said.
In the stipulation, the company has made commitments to comply with OPSB staff conditions to minimize adverse impacts associated with the project. Accordingly, the filing added, the parties recommend that the OPSB issue a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for construction and operation of the preferred route of the Lamping-Rouse project, as identified in the application, and subject to certain conditions.
As TransmissionHub reported, the preferred route is 4.8 miles long, while the alternate route is 4.7 miles long, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio staff said in a May 22 report, adding that the company estimates that the applicable intangible and capital costs for the preferred route are about $7.5m, and about $7.9m for the alternate route.
Woodlots (39%), and existing utility right of way (ROW) (30%) comprise the majority of land use acreage that falls within the proposed 100-foot ROW for the preferred route, while woodlots (76%) and pasture land (16%) comprise the majority of land use acreage along the alternate route, staff said.
The preferred route parallels the existing 345-kV Muskingum River-Tidd transmission line corridor for about 4,000 feet, and then follows the routes of existing utility lines, including electric distribution lines, for most of its length, staff said.
There are 18 residences located within 1,000 feet of the preferred route centerline, none of which is within the proposed 100-foot ROW, staff said, adding that there are also 18 residences located within 1,000 feet of the alternate route centerline – some of which are the same residences as the preferred route – none of which are located within the proposed 100-foot ROW. The nearest residence is located about 60 feet from the preferred route ROW, while the nearest residence to the alternate route ROW is located about 90 feet away, staff said.
No residences would need to be removed for construction or operation of the transmission line along either the preferred or alternate route, staff said, adding that the preferred route would cross 35 properties, while the alternate route would cross 33 properties.
As noted in the June 14 filing, the recommended conditions of the certificate of environmental compatibility and public need include that the facility is to be installed on the company’s preferred route; that the company is to conduct a preconstruction conference prior to the start of any construction activities; that prior to construction, the company is to conclude its Phase I cultural resources survey program, which may include archaeological and architectural components, for the line, laydown area(s), and access roads acceptable to staff and the Ohio Historic Preservation Office; and that the certificate is to become invalid if the company has not begun a continuous course of construction of the proposed facility within five years of the date of issuance of the certificate.