Arkansas regulatory staff recommend approval of 115-kV line

Arkansas Public Service Commission General Staff has recommended that the commission grant C & L Electric Cooperative Corporation (CLECC) a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CCN) to build, own, and operate certain transmission facilities, including a new two-mile, 115-kV transmission line, as requested in CLECC’s application.

The line would begin at Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation’s (AECC) new Hermitage South switching station and end at CLECC’s new Hermitage substation, all located in Bradley County, Ark., Jeffrey Roberts, professional engineer for the general staff, added in Oct. 24 direct testimony filed with the commission on behalf of staff.

The new line would extend generally southeast along the south side of Arkansas Highway 160 for about three quarters of a mile before crossing the highway at the intersection of Bradley Road 54, he said. The line then generally follows on the north side of Bradley 54 for about one and one quarter miles and terminates at CLECC’s Hermitage substation located at the northwest intersection of Bradley 54 and Bradley 53.

According to a CLECC witness, construction is anticipated to begin in October 2018, and the project is expected to be completed on Dec. 31, 2018, Roberts added.

The proposed facilities’ estimated cost is $1m, while the Hermitage substation is estimated to cost $2m, he said.

The proposed facilities are needed to provide a transmission source for the new Hermitage substation, provide for proper voltage, and improve reliability in the Hermitage area, Roberts said, noting that that substation is proposed to be built by CLECC in order to eliminate the existing distribution voltage level metering point to AECC on an Entergy Arkansas, Inc., (EAI) distribution line.

By eliminating the existing metering point, the area is expected to see an increase in reliability through the construction of three new distribution feeders from the Hermitage substation, which would provide additional capacity and reduce the accumulated voltage drop by utilizing larger conductors and a more direct route to the load center located east of the Hermitage substation, Roberts said.

Eliminating the metering point would also eliminate distribution line exposure from EAI and allow CLECC to exercise more independence and control from EAI distribution operations, and provide voltage control, he said.

Roberts noted that the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP) has concluded that the proposed facilities would have no effect on historic properties because the lines are, for instance, primarily located along existing road rights of way. However, AHPP advised CLECC to contact the preservation office immediately upon discovering human remains or cultural materials.

Roberts added that CLECC has stated that it does not anticipate a significant impact to threatened or endangered species, wetlands, or floodplains as a result of the project.

At the time of the filing of his testimony, no public comments have been received in the docket, he said.

Roberts said that based on the evidence presented by CLECC’s witness, among other things, he has determined that the proposed facilities are needed and are in the public interest.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3235 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.