A local public hearing regarding AEP Ohio Transmission Company’s (AEP Ohio Transco) application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need to rebuild the Ross-Ginger Switch 138-kV Transmission Line in Ross County, Ohio, will be held on June 4 in Chillicothe, Ohio, an Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) administrative law judge (ALJ) said on March 8.
An evidentiary hearing on the matter will begin on June 19 at the offices of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in Columbus, Ohio, the ALJ said.
As noted in the ALJ’s filing, American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) AEP Ohio Transco last December filed an application with the OPSB for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the project; the company filed supplemental application information in January. In those documents, AEP Ohio Transco said that construction of the project is anticipated to begin in the coming fall and to end in fall 2019. Upon completion of the new line, AEP Ohio Transco states that the existing Berlin-Ross 69-kV transmission line would be removed, the ALJ added.
The ALJ said that regulatory staff is to file its report of investigation on the matter by May 18, and that all expert and factual testimony to be offered by AEP Ohio Transco is to be filed by June 7. All expert and factual testimony to be offered by the intervenors and staff is to be filed by June 12, the ALJ said.
As TransmissionHub reported, the project is externally known as the Springfield 138-kV Transmission Line Rebuild Project or the Lick-Ross Line Rebuild, the company said, adding that the project is part of the overall Ross-Jackson Area Improvements Project, which has been implemented to improve the reliability of the electric transmission grid in Ross and Jackson counties in Ohio.
The Ross-Ginger Switch project involves rebuilding about 4.8 miles of the existing Berlin-Ross 69-kV transmission line to 138-kV standards.
The company also noted that the purpose of the project is to replace aging equipment with modern structures and wires to improve electric service reliability. The existing Berlin-Ross line, which was built in 1926, would be retired and replaced with a new 138-kV line, although it would be initially energized at 69 kV.
The project begins at the existing Ginger switch station, located just west of C.R. 213A and continues about 4.8 miles northwest to the interconnection with the Poston-Ross 138-kV transmission line. The interconnection is located just north of C.R. 222, which lies 0.5-mile northeast of the city of Chillicothe, Ohio, the company added.
The preferred route begins at the existing Ginger switch station and continues northwest, paralleling the southern edge of the existing Berlin-Ross line right of way (ROW) through agricultural and forested land use for about 3.8 miles. The company added that the alignment then jogs to the north briefly, spanning the existing ROW in order to avoid an encroachment with an existing electric transmission line structure associated with a different transmission line not related to the project.
After avoiding the structure, AEP Ohio Transco intends to rebuild the remaining one mile of the project utilizing the existing centerline and ROW of the Berlin-Ross line until reaching the interconnect location with the Poston-Ross line, the company said.
The preferred route has a total estimated cost of about $10.1m.