Order signed by Arkansas ALJ calls for approval of two transmission lines

Carroll Electric Cooperative Corporation (CECC) is granted a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CCN), authorizing it to build, own, operate, and maintain two high capacity electric transmission lines, all in Benton County, Ark., according to a March 23 order signed an Arkansas Public Service Commission administrative law judge (ALJ).

As noted in the order, CECC last September filed its application for the CCN, seeking approval for the Morning Star Transmission Line and the NACA Transmission Line (together referred to as the proposed facilities). CECC is also requesting approval of the new Morning Star substation; the CECC-owned substation site is 15 acres.

The ALJ noted that according to a CECC witness, the project consists of a 69-kV transmission line between a tap point on CECC’s Centerton-Highfill 69-kV transmission line to a new substation site – the Morning Star substation – and then terminating at CECC’s existing NACA substation in Benton County. The proposed facilities would be built and insulated for future operation at 161 kV, but would continue to operate at 69 kV for some time. According to the witness, the ALJ added, the route is about 2.9 miles from the tap point to the Morning Star substation (Morning Star Line), and 5.2 miles from that substation to the NACA substation (NACA Line).

The witness also noted that CECC’s loads and service reliability requirements continue to rapidly grow in the Benton County area, and that there has been significant residential and commercial development to the west of Bentonville in the recent past that is expected to continue. In order to provide for those needs, CECC needs to build the proposed facilities, according to the witness.

The ALJ also noted that according to the witness, the estimated cost of the proposed facilities is $1.8m for the tap point to the Morning Star substation, and about $2.8m for the line running from the Morning Star substation to the NACA substation. The estimated cost of the proposed Morning Star substation is about $1.9m, for a grand total of about $6.5m for the two lines and the substation.

The ALJ noted that the Morning Star substation is a distribution substation that does not need to be certificated by the commission.

Also, CECC demonstrated a reasonable need for the proposed facilities – that being to meet the loads and service reliability needs of its customers, the ALJ said.

In addition, CECC has made efforts to place the transmission line structures as to avoid existing homes and structures, and has further attempted to minimize the impact to land use by paralleling a road for part of the way.

Among other things, the ALJ noted that the proposed facilities are scheduled to be completed by mid-to-late 2018.

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.