Colorado regulators rule certain projects, including rebuild of 45-mile line, do not require CPCN

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission, in a decision adopted on June 28 and mailed on June 30, said that it rules that certain projects – including the Boone-La Junta 115-kV Line Rebuild project, which involves the rebuild of the 45-mile line with new single-circuit 115-kV construction – to not require a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN).

As noted in the decision, under Rule 3206 (d) of the commission’s Rules Regulating Electric Utilities, each Colorado electric utility is required to file with the commission, no later than April 30 of each year, information on proposed new construction or extensions of transmission facilities for the next three calendar years.

The commission noted that these utilities filed Rule 3206 reports into this proceeding (Proceeding No. 17M-005E) regarding these projects:

  • Black Hills/Colorado Electric Utility Company – The Boone-La Junta 115-kV Line Rebuild project, which involves the rebuild of the 45-mile line with new single-circuit 115-kV construction. The facility will be designed by the utility to meet the Rule 3206 noise and magnetic field requirements. Black Hills requested an affirmative determination by the commission that a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) is not required for the project
  • Grand Valley Power – The expansion of the existing Orchard Mesa substation with an additional 69/12.5-kV, 10.5 MVA transformer. The utility considers the project to be within the ordinary course of business
  • Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA)
    – The Meadows 115-kV substation, which is a new substation to provide additional capacity for anticipated loads in the Promenade/Meadows area. The substation will tap the existing IREA Plum Creek to the Wolfensberger 115-kV transmission line. The facility will be the utility’s standard configuration of two 30/40/50 MVA, 115/12.47-kV transformers and metal clad switchgear
    – The Franktown 115-kV substation, which is a new substation to provide additional capacity for anticipated loads in the Franktown area. The substation will tap the existing IREA Bayou to Castle Rock 115-kV transmission line. The substation location is still to be determined
    – The Roberts Tunnel to Shawnee 44-kV transmission line upgrade project, which involves the upgrade of about 8.3 miles of line between Roberts Tunnel and Shawnee from 44 kV to 115 kV
  • Public Service Company of Colorado
    – The NREL substation project, which consists of building a new substation that taps the existing Plainview-Eldorado 115-kV line south of Boulder, Colo. Transmission service to that customer is necessary because the customer is increasing its generation capacity. The substation will allow the customer to interconnect via a new customer-owned 115-kV transmission line. Public Service will ensure that the project meets noise and magnetic field level requirements as per commission rules. The utility requested that the commission find the project to be in the ordinary course of business
    – The Two Basins Relocation Project, which consists of relocating three existing 115-kV transmission lines – overhead and underground lines – exiting the North substation. The project is necessary to accommodate the City and County of Denver’s Two Basins storm water drainage project, which will provide 100-year storm protection for certain areas of the city. Public Service will ensure that the project meets noise and magnetic field level requirements under commission rules. The utility requested that the commission find the project to be in the ordinary course of business
  • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association
    – The Burlington-Burlington KCEA 115-kV Transmission Line Rebuild project, which consists of rebuilding and reconductoring the existing 1.94 miles of 115-kV transmission line between Tri-State’s Burlington substation and KCEA’s Burlington substation. Audible noise and magnetic fields associated with the project will not exceed the levels set forth in commission rules. The utility requests that the commission issue a decision finding that the project is in the ordinary course of business and does not require a CPCN
    – The Gateway 115/12.47-kV Delivery Point project, which consists of building a new 115-kV line and associated distribution substation in Larimer County west of I-25 in the general vicinity of Larimer County Road (CR) 16 to serve new load growth in Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association’s service area. The utility requests that the commission issue a decision finding that the project is in the ordinary course of business and does not require a CPCN
    – The Lazy Dog substation project, which consists of building a new green field substation located in Weld County near the intersection of CR 6 and CR 7. The substation will be served via Western Area Power Administration’s (WAPA) Erie-Terry Street 115-kV line. The substation will contain a 115-13.2-kV 36/48/60 MVA transformer. The utility requests that the commission issue a decision finding that the project is in the ordinary course of business and does not require a CPCN
    – The Parkway Substation-T2 Installation project, which consists of installing a 115-13.2-kV 36/48/60 MVA distribution transformer with associated metering, SCADA, and telecom equipment. The utility requests that the commission issue a decision finding that the project is in the ordinary course of business and does not require a CPCN
    – The Sunshine-Telluride Transmission Line Uprate and Reactor Addition project, which will energize the existing Sunshine-Telluride 69-kV line at 115 kV, remove the Sunshine 115-69-kV transformer and 69-kV circuit breaker, and install a new 16 MVAR reactor at Sunshine in place of the removed Sunshine 115-69-kV transformer. The utility requests that the commission issue a decision finding that the project is in the ordinary course of business and does not require a CPCN

No comments were filed in the proceeding, the commission said.

The commission also noted that all the proposed projects filed to meet the Rule 3206 April 30 deadline are designed for operation at 115 kV or below, and will be designed to be in compliance with the magnetic fields and audible noise rules.

“The commission finds all the proposed projects filed to meet the Rule 3206 April 30, 2017 deadline to be in the ordinary course of business,” the commission said.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3224 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.