Arizona committee approves, with conditions, TEP’s 138-kV transmission project

The Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee on Jan. 31 issued a corrected certificate of environmental compatibility (CEC) for the Irvington 138-kV Transmission Line Relocation Project.

The corrected CEC is filed to replace the original CEC that was filed on Jan. 26, the committee said, adding that the corrected CEC corrects a map attached to the original CEC.

The committee noted that it held public hearings in January in Tucson for the purpose of receiving evidence and deliberating on the application of Tucson Electric Power (TEP) for the CECs authorizing the construction of the Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine (RICE) Generation Project and the Irvington transmission project.

At the conclusion of the hearings, the committee voted 8-0 to grant TEP the CEC for the construction of the Irvington transmission project, which will be located in Tucson, Pima County, Ariz., and entails the construction of 2.2 miles of new 138-kV transmission lines. Structures will be a mixture of tangents and deadend steel monopoles, the committee said, noting that an additional 0.4 miles of existing 138-kV transmission line will be repurposed.

The purpose of the transmission project is to accommodate construction of the new Irvington 138-kV substation, which will replace the existing substation, thereby providing improved reliability for TEP’s system, the committee said. The construction of the new substation and the transmission project is timed to coincide with, and support, the RICE Generation Project.

The transmission project is contained within the TEP Irvington Campus on land owned by TEP, the committee added, noting that the new transmission lines will begin at the location of the existing substation and extend to the southeast to connect to the new substation.

The certificate is granted upon certain conditions, including that the authorization to build the transmission project is to expire seven years from the date the certificate is approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission, with or without modification, the committee said.

In addition, construction of the transmission project is to be complete, such that the transmission project is in service within that seven-year timeframe, but prior to the expiration of the time period, TEP may request that the commission extend the time limitation.

Also, the committee added, TEP is to comply with the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) guidelines for handling protected animal species, should any be encountered during construction, and is to consult with AGFD as necessary on other issues concerning wildlife.

The conditions also include that TEP is to design the transmission project to incorporate reasonable measures to minimize impacts to avian species.

The committee added that TEP is to also participate in good faith in state and regional transmission study forums to coordinate transmission expansion plans related to the transmission project and to resolve transmission constraints in a timely manner.

The committee added, among other things, that the transmission project is in the public interest because its contribution to meeting the need for an adequate, economical, and reliable supply of electric power outweighs the minimized impact of the transmission project on the environment and ecology of the state.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3058 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.