Kentucky Power to seek regulatory approval in spring for 138-kV line, substation

American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) Kentucky Power on Feb. 8 said that it is strengthening the power grid and increasing economic development opportunities in eastern Kentucky through the EastPark Transmission Project in Boyd County.

The project consists of building about three miles of 138-kV transmission line and a new substation to provide electric service to Braidy Industries’ planned aluminum mill facility in the EastPark Industrial Center. Kentucky Power added that once complete, the work would provide the 1,000-acre business park with a reliable and robust power source capable of handling continued customer growth.

According to a project fact sheet, the proposed line would connect to the existing Chadwick-KES Transmission Line near Kentucky Electric Steel north of I-64. The study segments travel to the northwest going on each side of the Champion Fastpitch Athletic Complex. The fact sheet further stated that the study segments continue north, crossing Straight Creek Road, Buena Vista Drive, and ending at the proposed substation along S. Commerce Drive in the industrial park.

The company said in its Feb. 8 statement that it will host an open house on Feb. 20 in Ashland, to provide project details to the community and affected landowners. After the open house, project team members will use information gathered from landowners and the community to work toward a proposed route, the company said.

Kentucky Power noted that it plans to file for a certificate of public convenience and necessity with the Kentucky Public Service Commission this spring. Upon approval, construction is expected to begin in the fall, and be complete by the end of 2019, the company said.

Indiana Michigan Power projects

In other AEP news, Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) on Feb. 9 announced the final proposed line route for the New Buffalo Area Improvements Project, which includes rebuilding about seven miles of 69-kV transmission line and replacing wood structures with steel monopoles. The project updates aging electric infrastructure to provide a more reliable power source capable of reducing power outages, the company said, adding that the improvements also lessen the time needed to restore service if an outage occurs.

The company said that it determined the final proposed route for the line following a comprehensive routing study and public open house that was held in December 2017. I&M noted that it will reroute sections of the line near New Buffalo, and that most of the line will be rebuilt where it is currently located, where possible.

Right of way (ROW) agents will soon begin discussions with landowners along the route to acquire or supplement easements, as needed. Pre-construction activities are anticipated to begin in the summer, and construction is estimated to begin in early 2019, I&M added.

On Feb. 7, I&M said that through customer engagement, it has selected the planned transmission line route for the Central South Bend Reliability Project, which includes an approximately two-mile, 69-kV transmission line that will be underground due to the congested and constrained urban path. The new line will create a redundant supply of electricity to improve reliability and lessen impacts of outages in the area, the company said.

As part of the project, I&M said that it will rebuild the Colfax substation on Colfax Avenue east of Sycamore Street. The rebuilt substation will require a limited expansion on the east side of I&M property and will be enclosed by a wall, the company said.

I&M said that it determined the final proposed route for the line following a comprehensive routing study and public open house that was held in February 2017, as well as input from city and community representatives.

ROW agents will soon begin discussions with landowners along the route to acquire easements, as needed, I&M said. Pre-construction activities are anticipated to begin in the spring, the company said, adding that construction is estimated to begin in the fall, and the project is expected to be completed in 2020.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3067 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.