Evidentiary hearing on proposed Colorado project scheduled for Aug. 30 vacated

A procedural schedule concerning the Northern Greeley Area Transmission Plan Project is vacated, with an evidentiary hearing scheduled for Aug. 30, for instance, being vacated, an administrative law judge (ALJ) with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission said in an interim decision mailed on Aug. 14.

As noted in the interim decision, Xcel Energy’s (NYSE:XEL) Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo) in March filed an application requesting that the commission grant a certificate of public convenience and necessity to build the project, which is comprised of:

  • About 25 miles of new 115/230-kV-capable transmission facilities originating at the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) Ault substation northwest of Greeley, Colo., and terminating northeast of Greeley at PSCo’s Cloverly substation
  • Two new and one modified substations – respectively, Husky, Graham Creek, and Cloverly – that would enable PSCo to retire and decommission three existing substations – Public Service Ault, Eaton, and Pleasant Valley

According to PSCo, the interim decision said, the project would satisfy a current need to increase the reliability and load serving capacity of the existing 44-kV transmission system in and around Greeley. The project would also address the need for additional future capacity for expected growth in a region where there is a substantial possibility that the load will increase beyond the current 44-kV system’s capacity as early as 2018.

Among other things, the interim order also noted that the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) and the commission’s trial staff in June each filed a notice of withdrawal of intervention, respectively. In its notice, the OCC said that, based on PSCo’s responses to discovery, the OCC no longer opposes the application and requested that the procedural schedule be vacated. In its notice, staff noted its non-opposition to the application stated in its notice of intervention, and then stated that it “intervened only because the matter was requested to be set for hearing by the” OCC. Because the OCC withdrew its intervention in the proceeding, staff likewise withdrew its intervention, the interim order added.

PSCo subsequently in June filed a motion to treat the application as unopposed, to vacate the procedural schedule, and to grant the application. PSCo noted that the OCC and staff have withdrawn their interventions, thus leaving the application unopposed. The interim order also noted that the company concluded with requests to vacate the procedural schedule and to issue a decision granting the application.

The interim order added that the undersigned ALJ finds good cause to grant that portion of the motion requesting that the procedural schedule be vacated. The ALJ will issue a separate decision addressing the merits of the application, the interim order noted.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3058 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.