The Kentucky Public Service Commission, in a Jan. 11 order, said that it finds that an investigation will be necessary to determine the reasonableness of Kentucky Power’s request for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) involving a 161-kV transmission line.
As noted in the order, Kentucky Power in November 2017 filed an application requesting a CPCN to rebuild its existing 6.5-mile Hazard-Wooton 161-kV Transmission Line in Perry and Leslie counties; and to perform upgrades, replacement, and installation of facilities and equipment at Kentucky Power’s existing Hazard and Wooton substations.
The proposed rebuilt line would be about 6.6 miles long.
The commission added that it is required to issue a decision on such applications within 90 days after the application is filed, unless it extends that period, for good cause, to 120 days. The commission said that an investigation on the application cannot be completed within 90 days of the application’s filing date, and that the company’s request for approval of the CPCN is continued for an additional 30 days, from Feb. 17 to March 17.
Commission staff on Jan. 19 issued its first request for information to the company regarding the project, noting that the information requested is due by Jan. 29.
For instance, staff asked the company to confirm that each of the 80 landowners has returned permission forms for the company to survey their property, and that none of those landowners expressed an objection to the proposed project.
Also, noting that the company’s application provides estimated costs to build and maintain the proposed line, staff asked the company to provide a schedule that breaks out these estimated costs: $16.5m for transmission line work; $28m for improvements to the Hazard and Wooton substations; and $16,000 annual operating and maintenance expense.
Staff also noted that according to the application, the proposed project is necessary to address violations identified by PJM Interconnection. Staff asked the company to state if PJM has established a date by which the project must be started or completed, and whether the proposed project was formally approved at the December 2017 PJM board meeting.
According to the company’s application, about 5.4 miles of the proposed rebuild is within or near the company’s existing 161-kV and 69-kV rights of way (ROW). About 1.2 miles of the proposed rebuild is outside the existing 161-kV ROW to accommodate two minor diversions from the existing ROW to address engineering and constructability issues.
The application added that the proposed rebuild also includes combining portions of the existing Hazard-Jackson 69-kV line and the existing Hazard-Wooton 161-kV line onto about seven double-circuit structures principally using the existing Hazard-Jackson and Hazard-Wooton ROWs, as well as a small portion of newly acquired ROW.
An existing 34.5-kV distribution line would be underbuilt on the double-circuit portion of the proposed rebuild between the Hazard substation and the first structure north of the North Fork of the Kentucky River.
The application also noted that the 34.5-kV distribution line would be relocated to an ROW generally adjacent to the proposed rebuild ROW between the first structure north of the North Fork of the Kentucky River and Kentucky Route 15.
Among other things, the application noted that the distribution line relocation is required to accommodate the safe construction and operation of the proposed rebuild, as well as for the future operation and maintenance on the distribution and transmission lines.