Big Rivers to seek approval in Kentucky for portion of 345-kV line

Big Rivers Electric Corporation on Jan. 2 filed with the Kentucky Public Service Commission a notice of intent to file an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) to build, acquire, and operate a 345-kV transmission line in Hancock County, Ky.

According to the notice, as part of its 2015 annual congestion study, the Midcontinent ISO (MISO) identified the need for a new single-circuit, 345-kV transmission line between Vectren’s existing Duff substation, located in southern Indiana, and Big Rivers’ existing Coleman Extra High Voltage (EHV) substation, located in Hancock County.

As noted in the filing, Vectren is Southern Indiana Gas & Electric d/b/a Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana.

Big Rivers added that after a competitive bidding process, MISO selected Republic Transmission, LLC, to develop, build, own, operate, and maintain the new line.

Big Rivers said that it and Republic Transmission plan to enter into an agreement relating to the portion of the new line that will be located in Kentucky, under which Big Rivers will provide certain pre-construction services to Republic Transmission, including acquisition of real estate rights and seeking appropriate regulatory approvals for the Kentucky portion of the line.

Concurrent with energization and turning functional control over to MISO, Big Rivers intends to acquire the Kentucky portion of the line from Republic Transmission consistent with the terms of an asset purchase agreement; thereafter, Big Rivers will own, operate, and maintain the Kentucky portion, Big Rivers said.

Only the Kentucky portion of the proposed line will be the subject of Big Rivers’ CPCN application, Big Rivers said, adding that the Kentucky portion of the line consists of a new approximately 3.3-mile, 345-kV transmission line section beginning at the Big Rivers Coleman EHV substation and extending northward to the state line, which is near the Indiana bank of the Ohio River.

The purpose of the proposed line – which will be built using typical two-pole and three-pole steel structures – is to relieve transmission line congestion in western Kentucky and southern Indiana, the company said.

As TransmissionHub reported, Republic Transmission on March 6, 2017, filed a verified petition with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, seeking authority to operate as a public utility, as well as a finding that it is a new electric transmission owner under Indiana Code.

Republic Transmission is also seeking, among other things:

  • Authorization to exercise all rights and privileges of a public utility as accorded by Indiana law, including the right to exercise eminent domain
  • A determination that the commission should decline to exercise certain aspects of its jurisdiction over Republic Transmission with respect to, for instance, long-term financings, as well as its approval authority over reorganization and the purchase or sale of facilities, including a purchase or sale related to reorganization within the LS Power Group
  • Authorization for Republic Transmission to maintain its books and records outside of Indiana; Republic Transmission intends to maintain its books and records at its principal office in East Brunswick, N.J.
  • Authorization for Republic Transmission to transfer functional control of assets to an applicable RTO

Republic Transmission is a fully owned subsidiary of Republic Transmission Holdings, LLC (RT Holdings), which is a fully owned subsidiary of LS Power Associates, L.P. The petition also noted that Republic Transmission and Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative Inc., have a memorandum of understanding and are finalizing an agreement under which Hoosier Energy will acquire 10% of RT Holdings and have an option to purchase an additional 10% of RT Holdings at a future date.

Republic Transmission, which is qualified to do business in Indiana, was organized to build, own, operate, and maintain an electric transmission facility, in whole or in part, in Indiana, the petition said.

The Duff-Coleman project begins at the Duff substation in Dubois County, Ind., and continues south to the Coleman substation in Hancock County, Ky. The petition further noted that Republic Transmission, which will initially own 100% of the project, intends to turn functional control over the project to MISO.

Once all necessary regulatory approvals are attained, Republic Transmission intends to transfer the Kentucky segment of the project to Big Rivers. As a result, the petition added, Republic Transmission will be a new electric transmission owner and seeks authority to operate as a public utility in Indiana.

LS Power and Hoosier Energy will furnish Republic Transmission all necessary resources, including equity capital, to build, own, operate and maintain an electric transmission facility, the petition said.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3233 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.