APSC closes docket involving Entergy Arkansas, Inc., switching station

The Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC), in a July 5 order, said that there being no further action to be taken at this time regarding a project involving a new four breaker ring bus switching station – the Mallory switching station – in Jackson County, Ark., that was proposed by Entergy’s (NYSE:ETR) Entergy Arkansas, Inc., (EAI), the APSC secretary is to close the docket (Docket No. 16-094-U).

As noted on the APSC’s website, the last action taken in the matter prior to the July 5 order occurred in April when an administrative law judge (ALJ) granted EAI a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CCN) to build, operate, and maintain the Mallory switching station near its existing Newport Industrial 161-kV substation.

As noted in the April order signed by the ALJ, EAI filed an application for a CCN last November. The existing Newport to Walnut Ridge 161-kV and Newport to Jonesboro 161-kV transmission lines will be rerouted to terminate in the Mallory switching station. Terminating the existing EAI Newport to Walnut Ridge line into the Mallory switching station will require the construction of two new approximately 1.2-mile, 161-kV transmission lines, the order added.

The switching station and the proposed lines are referred to as the proposed electrical facilities in the order.

The company also requested a 500-foot variance to either side of the center line of the proposed route to accommodate construction and cultural clearance issues, as well as the legitimate concerns and objections of property owners whose land is being traversed, provided that such deviations or adjustments do not adversely affect other land owners, do not involve significant cost increases, and do not inhibit the company’s ability to conform the location of the proposed transmission lines as closely as possible to existing land use and property lines.

The order also noted that according to the company, construction was expected to begin as soon as possible, with right of way (ROW) clearing activities beginning in 2Q17. The project is expected to be completed in 4Q18, according to the order.

As TransmissionHub reported, Clark Cotten, senior electrical engineer for the APSC general staff – in his direct testimony filed on behalf of staff with the APSC – noted that the total estimated cost for the proposed facilities using the “Proposed Route I” is $15.2m.

As noted in the April order, Cotten said that Proposed Route I was selected because it is shorter than “Alternate Route B,” has fewer line angles, and less direct impacts with existing commercial, industrial, and residential structures. Additionally, Proposed Route I is cost effective because it traverses natural and manmade corridors, such as quarter section lines, field edges, county and farm roads, drainage ditches, wood lines, and natural streams, the order said.

Among other things, the order noted that EAI has demonstrated a reasonable need for the proposed electrical facilities, that being to eliminate short-term flicker in the Newport area during transmission contingency conditions and allow for maintenance activities to be scheduled without having to wait for a time period when the industrial arc furnace is out of service.

EAI is granted the 500-foot variance to either side of the center line of the proposed route, the order said.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3286 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares was TransmissionHub’s chief editor until August 2021, as well as part of the team that established TransmissionHub in 2011. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial from 2005 to 2011. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines.