American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) AEP Ohio Transmission Company (AEP Ohio Transco) on June 13 filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board an application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the company’s proposed Glencoe-Speidel 138-kV Transmission Line Rebuild Project.
As noted in the application, AEP Ohio Transco proposes to rebuild 12.7 miles of the existing Glencoe-Speidel 69-kV electric transmission line as an upgraded 138-kV line in Belmont County, Ohio.
The existing 69-kV line has been in service since the 1940s and has deteriorated to a level that requires rebuilding, the company said, adding that rebuilding the line would eliminate overloading risks and enhance reliability for area customers, as well as resolve issues associated with the deterioration of the line and bring the line up to current design standards. The proposed project would improve local service for customers, decrease power interruptions, improve system resiliency, and speed recovery of local service when outages occur, the company said.
The rebuilt single-circuit line would serve the area with 138-kV transmission service to support future load growth in the area, the company said, adding that a nearby project, the Glencoe-West Bellaire 138-kV circuit, will facilitate the installation of a 138-69-kV transformer source at the Glencoe station in 2019, and this proposed project will provide the capability for a second 138-kV source.
The decision to upgrade to 138-kV design specifications is also driven by such factors as the line being located in one of the more active regions of the Utica and Marcellus shale exploration. AEP Ohio Transco added that it anticipates load growth connecting either directly to the line or being served through the distribution network, for which the 138-kV transmission line would be required.
The preferred route follows the existing Glencoe-Speidel line for its entire length from the Glencoe station to the Speidel station. The preferred route is offset from the existing centerline by about 35 feet for its entire length, except for five sections where it would be built on centerline to avoid encroachments and meet engineering requirements, the company added. Those areas include about 0.1 mile at the Glencoe station exit, 0.1 mile at the Watertown Road crossing, about 0.8 miles through the Village of Bethesda, about 0.2 miles at the Old Ohio 147 crossing, and about 0.1 mile at the Speidel station entry, the company said.
AEP Ohio Transco said that the siting team selected the rebuild segment as the proposed route since it would have the least overall impact to surrounding resources and landowners. The rebuild segment through the Village of Bethesda focus area follows the existing line along the north side of Noon Road, the company noted, adding that the rebuild segment throughout the focus area would have a narrower right of way of 50 feet instead of 100 feet.
The rebuild along the existing route would require two outbuilding replacements but would not impact any new landowners, the company said. Collectively, the siting team believes that the proposed route meets the goal of minimizing impacts on land use, and the natural and cultural resources along the route, while avoiding circuitous routes, extreme costs, and non-standard design requirements, AEP Ohio Transco said.
According to the filing, the preferred route has estimated applicable intangible and capital costs of about $26m.
The company also said that it plans to begin construction of the line in early 2019, with an estimated in-service date in spring 2020.