American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) AEP Ohio Transmission Company (AEP Ohio Transco) on April 30 filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) an application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the Seaman-Sardinia 138-kV Transmission Line Project (also known as the Sardinia Area Improvements Project).
As noted in the application, AEP Ohio Transco plans to build the new line from the existing Sardinia substation to the existing Hillsboro-Maysville 138-kV electric transmission line, located in Brown County, Ohio.
Discussing the general purpose of the facility, the company noted that it plans to upgrade an existing power source to the Brown County area’s electric transmission grid and update the infrastructure to provide reliable electricity to customers. The existing transmission line has reached an age where it requires replacement, and the modern facilities would provide local customers with greater electric service reliability, the company said.
The project is needed to address age-related asset health concerns on the 69-kV Seaman-Sardinia transmission line. The company added that the project also resolves reliability concerns associated with the Sardinia station being served by a single 11.9-mile radial line. That 69-kV line will be retired, and a double-circuit line designed and operated at 138 kV will be built, the company said.
The proposed project begins about 2.5 miles east of Sardinia, Ohio, at the existing Sardinia substation, located about 450 feet west of the intersection of Township Highway 171/Katterman Road and Five Points Mowrystown Road.
The company added that the proposed project terminates at the existing Hillsboro-Maysville 138-kV electric transmission line, which runs generally north to south through Brown County, Ohio. The proposed project is about 3.7 miles to 4.5 miles in length depending on the route selected; would be built using primarily steel, single-pole structures; and would require a new, approximately 100-foot-wide permanent right of way (ROW).
The company also said that the actual width of the ROW required for any particular section of the transmission line could vary from the 100-foot planning width, dependent on several factors for a specific location.
The project’s preferred route from the existing Sardinia substation to the existing Hillsboro-Maysville 138-kV electric transmission line is about 3.7 miles long and begins at the existing Sardinia substation. The preferred route runs southeast along Katterman Road for about 0.4 mile, and then runs northeast for about 2.1 miles through largely agricultural land until it reaches Shitepoke Road, the company added. The preferred route crosses over Shitepoke Road and continues northeast along the eastern edge of Shitepoke Road for about 0.5 mile until it reaches Stivers Road. The company added that the preferred route then runs southeast along the southern edge of Stivers Road for 0.7 mile, crossing over State Route 62 and terminating at the interconnecting point along the existing Hillsboro-Maysville 138-kV electric transmission line.
Among other things, the company said that the preferred route, compared to other alternative routes:
- Is shorter in length, thus impacting less overall acreage
- Has fewer ecological features, namely forested areas and significantly lower wetland acreage
- Parallels existing road ROW, thus reducing impacts on agricultural crop production and provides simpler access for construction and maintenance
According to the filing, the estimated applicable intangible and capital costs for the preferred route total about $11.1m.
According to the project’s schedule, if the project is approved, transmission line construction is expected to begin in late 2019, and the project is expected to be complete in June 2021.