Powder River Energy Corporation (PRECorp) on March 14 filed with the Wyoming Public Service Commission an application seeking approval to build the Little Missouri to Butte 69-kV Line Rebuild project, which involves rebuilding about 6.1 miles of existing 69-kV power line with a 556 aluminum-conductor steel-reinforced cable (ACSR) conductor in a monopole configuration and about 1.2 miles of 7.2-kV distribution line.
About three miles of the total 6.1 miles would include an underbuilt distribution power line circuit, the company said, adding that that would result in no net increase of power line in the area. The underbuilt distribution would allow PRECorp to retire the single-phase 69/7.2-kV Baker substation and convert the existing services to 25 kV, the company said.
There would be 98 structures in all, the company noted, adding that the estimated total cost of the proposed project is about $1.8m.
The Baker feeders and services would be converted to accommodate the new 25-kV service from the Little Missouri substation, the company said, noting that the Little Missouri to Butte project is about 10 miles west of Hulett, Wyo.
Construction, which would occur on private and state lands in Crook County, is anticipated to begin in June and to be completed by September.
The company also noted that the Little Missouri to Butte line was originally built as a 34.5-kV radial feed in the mid-1960s. In 1986, to address the load growth in the Rocky Point Oil Field, the line was converted to a 69-kV line to provide multiple sources and to increase service reliability. The company added that at that time, the line was intended to be a reliable, but radial, source of power for at least 15 years to 20 years. Since that time, the Wenande substation has been installed and a long range plan has identified a need for a 69-kV line between PRECorp’s Adon and Little Missouri substation.
The future Adon to Little Missouri 69-kV line would be part of a loop-feed and would allow PRECorp multiple options for splitting and serving loads, as well as a secondary source for the Little Missouri substation, the company added.
With the planned Adon to Little Missouri 69-kV Line, the 69-kV line between Little Missouri and Butte would be the limiting component of the 69-kV loop system in the Adon, Little Missouri, Butte, and Moorcroft system. The company also said that when the Adon to Little Missouri line is built and this segment of line is rebuilt, PRECorp would be able to serve load in the Hulett area from either Adon or Moorcroft, and would allow for the retirement of the Baker substation in lieu of replacing the transformers.
Among other things, the company noted that no designated scenic resources are located within the proposed line corridor, and no designated recreational areas are located near the proposed project area. Current land uses within the project area include residential areas, livestock grazing, hay production, and such industry development as oil drilling.
The company also said that activities associated with the construction of the proposed project may cause temporary displacement of wildlife. In addition, the company said that there would be no effect on drainages or wetlands within the project area.
PRECorp requested that the commission make its order authorizing the construction of the proposed project, with the permit becoming effective by May 11.