Arkansas Public Service Commission General Staff on Nov. 21 recommended that the commission grant Carroll Electric Cooperative Corporation (CECC) a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CCN) to build, operate, and maintain certain proposed facilities, including a transmission line.
As noted in the direct testimony on behalf of the general staff of Jeffrey Roberts, professional engineer for the general staff, CECC filed an application for a CCN in September. The facilities would consist of a 1.8-mile transmission line beginning at a tap point on CECC’s existing Hiwasse-Cannich Tap 69-kV transmission line and terminating at CECC’s new Herbaugh distribution substation, all located in Benton County, Ark.
The new line begins at the tap point on the Hiwasse-Cannich Tap 69-kV transmission line just south of Fishback Road and extends due east about 0.66 miles before crossing Arkansas Highway 279, Roberts added. The line continues east for about 0.40 miles before joining on the south side of Herbaugh Road, and from there, the line again traverses east for about 0.75 miles on the south side of Herbaugh Road for its terminus, the new Herbaugh substation.
CECC requested in its application a CCN for the line and the new substation, Roberts added, noting that with respect to the new Herbaugh substation, staff submits that Arkansas law and commission rules do not require a CCN. The new substation would be built within CECC’s allocated territory for distribution purposes upon land already owned by CECC, Roberts said, noting that a CCN is not required for the construction and operation within CCN-allocated territory of distribution facilities and equipment necessary in the ordinary course for the public utility to serve its customers, which has been adequately demonstrated by CECC.
Roberts recommended that the commission recognize the authority of CECC to build, operate, and maintain the new Herbaugh substation without the need to obtain a CCN.
According to a CECC witness, CECC’s load and service reliability continue to grow in Benton County. Roberts added that the witness further stated that there has been significant residential and commercial development to the west of Bentonville in the recent past, and that is expected to continue; the proposed facilities are needed to provide a transmission source for the new Herbaugh substation. The addition of the Herbaugh substation would increase reliability and reduce loading on the Hiwasse substation, which is overloaded with respect to its current distribution feeders, Roberts added.
The proposed facilities have an expected in-service date of mid-to-late 2018. Roberts also said that the estimated cost of the proposed line is $1.2m, while the Herbaugh substation has an estimated cost of $1.9m.
He noted that his on-site observation confirmed that the chosen route of the project was selected with due regard to avoiding existing homes and structures, minimizing the overall footprint of the project, and to the greatest extent possible, utilizing existing property use lines, section lines, fence rows, ditches, creeks, streams, tree lines, and other natural boundaries.
Roberts said that he has determined that the proposed facilities are needed and in the public interest.