American Transmission Systems, Incorporated (ATSI), and Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) staff, in a June 23 joint stipulation filed with the OPSB, recommended that the OPSB issue a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the preferred route regarding ATSI’s proposed East Springfield-Tangy 138-kV Loop to Broadview Substation Project.
As noted in the joint stipulation, ATSI is proposing to build the project to support the company’s electric system in the Springfield, Ohio, area. The project involves the construction of a new 138-kV transmission line in Moorefield Township in Clark County, Ohio, the joint stipulation said, noting that the line would connect the East Springfield-Tangy 138-kV Transmission Line to the Broadview substation.
The project is one component of the Springfield Area 138-kV Reinforcement Project, which is designed to give area customers a stronger and more robust electric transmission system by adding redundancy to the network, reducing service disruptions, and allowing for future growth when new businesses and homes are built, the joint stipulation said.
As noted in the joint stipulation, staff on May 30 issued a report, recommending that a certificate be issued for the preferred route, subject to certain conditions.
As TransmissionHub reported, the approximately 4.8-mile preferred route begins at the Broadview substation, which is about one mile east of the intersection of State Route 72 and Willow Road, travels north for about a half mile, and then generally travels east to just north of the intersection of Morris and Mumper Roads. The preferred route then travels generally southeast until it reaches the East Springfield-Tangy 138-kV transmission line. Staff also said in its report that the company estimates the total applicable and intangible capital costs for the preferred route at about $11.3m, and at about $12.9m for the alternate route, which is about 5.3 miles long.
As noted in the joint stipulation, adequate data on the proposed project has been provided to the OPSB and staff to determine that the preferred route represents the minimum adverse environmental impact, considering the available technology, as well as nature and economics of the various alternatives, along with other pertinent considerations.
In addition, adequate data on the proposed project has been provided to the OPSB and its staff to determine that the proposed facility will serve the public interest, convenience and necessity, the joint stipulation said.
ATSI, after reviewing the staff report, is willing to accept the conditions recommended by staff, without change, according to the joint stipulation.
Among other things, the conditions call for ATSI to conduct a preconstruction conference prior to the start of any construction activities, and for ATSI to – within 60 days after the start of commercial operation – submit to staff a copy of the as-built specifications for the entire facility.
In addition, one of the conditions notes that the certificate is to become invalid if ATSI has not started a continuous course of construction of the proposed facility within five years of the date of issuance of the certificate.
Another condition calls for ATSI – regardless of which route the OPSB selects – to continue to coordinate with the Ohio History Connection regarding any potential archaeological impacts.
The conditions also call for ATSI to adhere to seasonal cutting dates of Oct. 1 through March 31 for removal of any trees greater than, or equal to, three inches in diameter, unless coordination efforts with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) allow a different course of action.
ATSI is to contact staff, the ODNR, and the USFWS within 24 hours if state or federal threatened or endangered species are encountered during construction activities, the joint stipulation added.
ATSI is a wholly owned subsidiary of FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE).