Monthly Project Review May 2017

According to TransmissionHub data, three new projects, representing $48m, were announced in May, including one by American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) unit, Appalachian Power.

Appalachian Power announced the new Haysi Transmission Line Rebuild Project, which involves replacing approximately seven miles of existing 69-kV transmission line. The line starts near the Kentucky-Virginia border and ends by the Haysi substation. The $15m project is expected to ensure reliability in the region, and to be energized mid-2019.

AEP’s Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) has plans for the new Summer Grove Area Improvements project, which involves building 1.5 miles of new 69-kV transmission line from the Summer Grove and proposed Leaside Way substations. The project also involves rerouting one mile of 138-kV in order to ensure reliability. The $25m project is expected to be completed by 2019.

SWEPCO is also planning a new Hallsville to Longview Rebuild. The project involves replacing seven miles of existing 69-kV transmission line to ensure reliability. The $8m project is expected to be energized by summer 2018.

Various projects saw changes in May. For instance, the Bonneville Power Administration on May 18 said that it will not build the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project, a proposed 80-mile, 500-kV transmission line that would have extended from Castle Rock, Wash., to Troutdale, Ore. In BPA’s May 18 statement, BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer said: “Given the extensive work we’ve done in the past 15 months with regional partners and others, we are now confident that we can continue to meet the demands on the grid without building this 80-mile line in southwest Washington. We will always make safe and reliable transmission service a priority. We also recognize a growing need to be flexible and agile in our business practices to create the greatest value to electricity ratepayers in the Northwest.”

Mainzer noted that the scope, impact, and increasing budget for the project became the catalyst for pushing BPA to reconsider its existing analytical processes, its commercial business practices, and its implementation of federal reliability standards.

The City of Garland received approval from the Public Utility Commission of Texas for its purposed Rusk to Panola Transmission Line Project. The 345-kV, 38-mile project would extend from the new Rusk substation in Rusk County to the new Panola substation in Panola County, which would be built by Rusk Interconnection LLC, and owned by Garland.

Dominion Energy Virginia received project construction authorization from the Virginia State Corporation Commission for its planned Cunningham-Dooms Rebuild, which involves replacing the existing 500-kV, 32.7-mile transmission line in Fluvanna, Albemarle, and Augusta counties. The rebuild is necessary to assure continued reliability in the region. The in-service date for the project is summer 2019.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio staff, in a May 30 report filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB), said that FirstEnergy’s (NYSE:FE) American Transmission Systems, Incorporated (ATSI) has demonstrated the basis of need for the East Springfield-Tangy 138-kV Loop to Broadview Substation Expansion Project. Staff said that the $11.2m project is needed to improve the quality and reliability of electric service and to expand the electric transmission system to meet anticipated growth in the Clark County area for the near future. ATSI plans to place the transmission line in service by November 2018, staff said.