Arkansas regulatory staff recommend approval of 161-kV line

The Arkansas Public Service Commission should grant Clay County Electric Cooperative Corporation (CCECC) a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CCN) to build, operate, own, and maintain the proposed Baltz Lake to Ingram Transmission Line (referred to as the proposed facilities) as requested in CCECC’s amended application, Jeffrey Roberts, professional engineer for the commission’s general staff, said in Oct. 10 direct testimony filed on behalf of staff.

CCECC filed its application in July, and it filed an amended CCN application in August after staff found that the July application included maps that did not correctly depict the route of the proposed facilities.

The proposed facilities – rated at 161 kV – would provide a transmission connection for the Ingram substation, Roberts added, noting that the line would originate from AECC’s Baltz Lake switching station and terminate the Ingram substation. The line would extend for about 7.5 miles using 336 ACSR conductors utilizing single pole and “H” frame pole designs, and include an overhead fiber optic guywire.

The proposed facilities would exit Baltz Lake switching station property heading west for about three-quarters of a mile, crossing Arkansas Highway 115, Roberts added, noting that the route then turns generally north for about one-half mile, and then west for about one-quarter mile. The line then turns north for about 5.5 miles, generally following property and county section lines, crossing Arkansas Highways 251 and 328, before turning west for about one mile to terminate at the Ingram substation to be built on property located adjacent to Arkansas Highway 251.

Roberts added that according to a CCECC witness, the Ingram substation is required to serve load growth in northwest Randolph County. In CCECC’s approved 2015-2018 Construction Work Plan (CWP), load growth in CCECC’s service territory is projected to be about 10% over the next three years primarily due to the growth of the local poultry industry. According to the CWP, Roberts added, the Ingram substation would relieve load from the East and West Pocahontas substations and serve all of the load around Dalton and Elevenpoint, as well as the load around Maynard.

Roberts said that the construction is planned to take about three months, with an expected in-service date of December 2018.

According to the CCECC witness, the estimated cost of the proposed facilities is $7.5m.

That witness also said that there would be no ecological or environmental disruptions or impacts to endangered bats, streams, ponds, wetlands, historical artifacts, or flood plains caused by the project, Roberts added. Additionally, the witness noted that the final route was selected to avoid manmade structures, and that the proposed project would not disrupt planned property uses, Roberts said.

He noted that as of the date of filing of his direct testimony, no public comments have been received in the docket.

Among other things, he said that the proposed route generally follows natural boundaries, as well as property and section lines with minor exceptions, with the exceptions providing for a route that does not disrupt existing manmade property uses.

In consideration of his on-site observations, review of aerial and street imagery, and of the commission’s seven factors – which include the facilities’ cost; engineering and technical concerns; as well as aesthetic displeasure – Roberts said that he concludes that the proposed route is reasonable.

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.