Monthly Project Review December 2017

Four new projects were announced in December 2017, including a new 138-kV transmission line proposed by Oncor Electric Delivery Company and Brazos Electric Power Cooperative in Texas.

That line would connect the existing Oncor Cogdell substation in Scurry County to the existing Brazos Electric Clairemont substation in Kent County. The new transmission line is needed to ensure reliability and is expected to be energized in June 2020. Oncor’s portion of the estimated total project cost for the project’s “Route 125” is about $10.2m, while Brazos Electric’s portion is about $12.2m.

Entergy Louisiana has plans for the new Southwest Louisiana 69-kV Improvement Project, which will replace the existing Colonial Welsh 138-kV tap line with two new 138-kV lines. The project also involves installing a new 69-kV line that will be installed between the new Henning substation and the existing Carter substation; rebuilding the existing Carter-Serpent and Compton-Elton 69-kV lines; and installing two new 69-kV lines from the Henning substation to the Line 13 Tap location. The approximately $100m project is needed to ensure reliability in the region and is expected to be completed by February 2020. Entergy Louisiana is a subsidiary of Entergy (NYSE:ETR).

Lyntegar Electric Cooperative Inc., has plans for the new Welch 115-kV Transmission Line in Gaines and Dawson counties in Texas. The proposed line consists of two parts, LEC said, adding that one segment of the proposed line – the Welch Segment – would extend from the Diamondback substation to the east/north east about 11.5 miles to 12.5 miles, depending on the route selected, to the proposed new Welch substation near the town of Welch in Dawson County. LEC said that it also proposes to build a tap in the Welch Segment and run a radial transmission line south for about 5.83 miles to 7.83 miles, depending on the route selected, to the proposed new Thunderhead substation that is being built by LEC to serve U.S. Silica – the U.S. Silica Segment. In total, LEC said, the two segments are expected to extend for about 18.19 miles to 20.27 miles, depending on the route selected. The estimated project costs for the project’s “Route 4” are about $7.2m for the transmission facilities, and about $3.7m for the substation facilities, for an estimated grand total cost of about $10.9m, LEC said. According to the estimated schedule, energizing of the facilities would begin in February 2019 and be completed in March 2019.

American Transmission Company announced the new Mount Pleasant Tech Interconnection Project, which includes building the new Mount Pleasant substation in Wisconsin. New 345-kV transmission lines would run east for about 1.3 miles from the new Mount Pleasant substation to Line PLPL101 in the village of Mount Pleasant. ATC added that new conductor would be strung on the vacant east side of existing Line PLPL101 beginning at the Racine substation in the city of Racine and extending about 12 miles south to the Pleasant Prairie switchyard in the village of Pleasant Prairie. The Bain to Pleasant Prairie line (Line PLPL91) would be rerouted in the village of Pleasant Prairie. ATC also said that one structure would be modified/replaced as part of the uprate of the Racine to Elm Road Line (Line L-ERG91) in the village of Caledonia and two structures would be modified/replaced as part of the uprate of Line L-ERG91 in the city of Racine.

Three projects were energized last month. Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) on Dec. 6, 2017, said that it has completed construction of the 345-kV Merrimack Valley Reliability Project (MVRP). The company noted that in partnership with National Grid, it began construction of the transmission line between Londonderry, N.H., and Tewksbury, Mass., in fall 2016. The MVRP runs along existing utility rights of way (ROWs), with about 18 miles through Londonderry, Hudson, Windham, and Pelham in New Hampshire, and about 6.5 miles through Dracut, Andover, and Tewksbury in Massachusetts, for a total length of about 24.5 miles, Eversource said.

Minnkota Power Cooperative on Dec. 4 told the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission that construction on the MPL Laporte 115-kV HVTL Project in Clearwater and Hubbard counties in Minnesota was to be completed by Dec. 8. Minnkota Power noted that it would begin the process to place the project in service on Dec. 13. The commission in June 2017, issued an order granting Minnkota Power a route permit for the project, which includes construction of about 9.4 miles of new, overhead, 115-kV transmission line, as well as construction of the new Laporte MPL substation. As TransmissionHub reported, the project is planned to link an existing Minnesota Pipe Line (MPL) Company pumping station and the new substation to serve a new pumping station located west of the city of Laporte.

FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) completed its Garrettsville-Newton Falls 69-kV Rebuild Project in Ohio. The $26m project involves replacing the existing 69-kV line with a new set of poles and wires that will connect existing electric substations in Garrettsville and Newton Falls in Ohio, the company said.

Finally, one project saw a significant change last month as NextEra Energy Resources acquired all of the assets for the Plains & Eastern Clean Line transmission project in Oklahoma from Clean Line Energy Partners. Under the agreement, Clean Line Energy retains project assets east of Oklahoma, and NextEra Energy Resources owns only the project assets in Oklahoma. Clean Line Energy noted that it has acquired a significant portion of the right of way necessary to build the project, which, according to its website, is an approximately 700-mile HVDC transmission line that will deliver wind energy from the Oklahoma Panhandle region to utilities and customers in the Mid-South and southeastern United States. On why the deal took place, a Clean Line NEergy spokesperson told TransmissionHub in December 2017: “The goal of the Plains & Eastern Clean Line has always been to deliver low-cost renewable energy from the Oklahoma Panhandle to communities where there is substantial demand. We have been developing the project for nearly eight years in Oklahoma, and in that time market forces and energy needs have changed and eastern Oklahoma now presents a strong delivery point for Plains & Eastern.”
NextEra Energy Resources is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE).

Article amended at 9:20 a.m., EST, on Jan. 26, 2018, to note that four new projects were announced in December 2017.