Monthly Project Review March 2018

TransmissionHub presents a roundup of most of the transmission projects covered during March, including the estimated $65m Northern Greeley Area Transmission Plan Project in Colorado; the estimated $24.7m Leaside Way Transmission Project in Louisiana; and the estimated $62m Dooms-Valley Line project in Virginia.

West Coast

Starting in California, a Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) spokesperson on March 1 told TransmissionHub that the transmission voltage of the new Station E substation, when built, will be 115 kV – converted to 21 kV for distribution.

SMUD said that construction of the substation is expected to begin this year, and to be completed in 2020. The approximately $76m project will enhance reliability for customers in the midtown neighborhoods and provide vital backup support to downtown Sacramento, as well as the entire SMUD grid, SMUD said.

Also in California, the California ISO (CAISO) on March 23 said that its Board of Governors has approved the 2017-2018 Transmission Plan to support electric system reliability while canceling or modifying previously approved projects to avoid $2.6bn in future costs.

The plan identified 17 new transmission projects at a combined cost of nearly $271.3m, the ISO said. The plan also recommends the cancellation of 18 transmission projects and revisions of 21 other projects in the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) area, as well as two in the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) area, avoiding an estimated $2.6bn in future costs, the ISO said.

The Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), in its 2018 State of WAPA’s Assets document, noted that over the next 10 years, WAPA anticipates investing $1.6bn in its assets, more than two-thirds of which will go toward transmission lines and substations.

In Colorado, a Colorado Public Utilities Commission administrative law judge (ALJ), in a March 1 recommended decision, granted the March 2017 application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) for the construction of the Northern Greeley Area Transmission Plan Project filed by Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo).

As noted in the filing, the estimated $65m project includes building about 25 miles of new 115/230-kV-capable transmission facilities, originating at the WAPA Ault substation northwest of Greeley, Colo., and terminating northeast of Greeley at PSCo’s Cloverly substation.

Hawaiian Electric on March 8 filed an application with the Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission requesting that the commission conduct a public hearing for the Mauka FIT One 46-kV overhead extension from an existing 46-kV overhead subtransmission line near residential areas; and that the commission determine that the extension of the 46-kV subtransmission line be built above the surface of the ground. Mauka FIT One LLC will develop and install a Tier 3 feed-in tariff (FIT) 3.5-MW solar farm in Kahuku, on the island of O’ahu, Hawaiian Electric said. The OEP is needed to interconnect the Mauka FIT One Tier 3 FIT facility to Hawaiian Electric’s system. Hawaiian Electric also said that the estimated cost of the OEP is about $1m, which is one of four components of the approximately $5.5m total estimated interconnection cost set forth in the Mauka FIT One Tier 3 FIT power purchase agreement.

SunZia Transmission LLC, in an application received by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission on March 12, said that it seeks an order that approves the location of two 500-kV transmission lines and related facilities.

Under the application, SunZia added, SunZia proposes to build and operate the two 500-kV alternating current (AC) lines, as well as the associated facilities, in areas of New Mexico and Arizona. The lines would extend about 520 miles, including 320 miles in New Mexico and 200 miles in Arizona, SunZia said.

The total estimated capital cost of the SunZia project configured as two 500-kV AC transmission lines and related facilities in Arizona and New Mexico would be about $2bn, SunZia said, noting that the estimated capital cost for the New Mexico portion of the project would be about $1.2bn.

SunZia also noted that it expects to begin construction of the first 500-kV AC transmission line and related facilities this year, and to place the facility in commercial operation during 4Q20.

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.

There would be 98 structures in all, the company noted, adding that the estimated total cost of the proposed project is about $1.8m.

Midwest/South

The Arkansas Public Service Commission, in a March 2 order, said that there being no further action to be taken at this time in the matter involving Clay County Electric Cooperative Corporation’s (CCECC) 161-kV Ingram transmission line, the commission secretary is directed to close the docket (Docket No. 17-026-U).

The last action taken on the matter – or the last filing posted under the docket at the commission’s website – was a Dec. 15, 2017, order by a commission ALJ. As noted in that order, CCECC in July 2017 filed an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CCN) seeking authority to build, operate, own, and maintain a 161-kV transmission line – the Ingram Line – beginning at the Baltz Lake substation and ending at the proposed Ingram substation, located in Randolph County, Ark.

The order also noted that CCECC said that the costs for the proposed 7.5-mile Ingram Line are estimated to be $7.5m, and that CCECC projects an in-service date of December 2018.

Also in Arkansas, an Arkansas Public Service Commission ALJ, in a March 2 order, granted Carroll Electric Cooperative Corporation (CECC) a CCN authorizing it to build, operate, and maintain a high capacity electric transmission line beginning at a point on the Hiwasse-Cannich Transmission Line and ending at the proposed Herbaugh distribution substation, all in Benton County, Ark.

The ALJ added that according to a CECC witness, the project consists of an estimated $1.2m, 69-kV transmission line starting at a tap point on CECC’s Hiwasse-Cannich Tap 69-kV transmission line in Benton County, and terminating at a new substation site in the same county. The estimated cost for the proposed substation is about $1.9m, for an overall project total of about $3.1m, according to the witness.

Construction of the proposed line is scheduled to be completed by mid-to-late 2018, the ALJ said.

According to a March 23 order signed by an Arkansas Public Service Commission ALJ, CECC is granted a CCN, authorizing it to build, own, operate, and maintain two high capacity electric transmission lines, all in Benton County, Ark.

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 ALJ also noted that according to a CECC 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 proposed facilities are scheduled to be completed by mid-to-late 2018.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, in a March 5 order, requested that an additional alternative route for a 161-kV transmission line be included in the Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s scoping decision for the environmental assessment of the project.

As noted in the order, Freeborn Wind Energy last September filed an application for a route permit to build the seven-mile line that would connect its proposed Freeborn Wind Farm to the Glenworth substation.

According to the company’s application for the single-circuit transmission line, Freeborn Wind – which is an affiliate of Invenergy LLC – is requesting the route permit to build the high voltage transmission line needed to interconnect the proposed up to 200-MW Freeborn Wind Farm, located in Freeborn County, Minn., and Worth County, Iowa.

The Minnesota portion of the Freeborn Wind Farm would consist of up to 84 MW and is under permit review, the company said.

Freeborn Wind Energy anticipates construction to begin in spring 2020, with an in-service date of December 2020, the notice said, adding that the proposed project is estimated to cost $3.7m.

The Louisiana Public Service Commission, in a March 7 order, adopted a Jan. 5 proposed uncontested stipulated settlement that was entered into by commission staff and Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) in relation to the company’s Leaside Way Transmission Project.

As noted in the order, the project consists of building the new 138/69-kV Leaside Way substation along with three newly configured 138-kV transmission lines – Leaside Way to Southwest Shreveport; Leaside Way to Stonewall; and Leaside Way to Western Electric.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $24.7m, the commission said, noting that the total cost allocated to the Louisiana jurisdiction is estimated at $9.1m.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas, in an order dated March 8, adopted, with exceptions, the Jan. 31 State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) ALJ’s proposal for decision that recommended that the commission grant Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative’s application to amend its certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to build a new single-circuit, 138-kV transmission line in Hunt County, Texas.

As noted in the order, Rayburn filed its application in March 2017 regarding its proposed Dent Road Expansion to Wieland Switch 138-kV Transmission Line Project, which will connect expanded portions of the existing Dent Road substation owned by Greenville Electric Utility System (GEUS) to the proposed tap point switch and meter station located along Rayburn’s existing Blackland to Wieland 138-kV transmission line.

The commission ordered that the approved route for the project is the 8.19-mile route S, which has an estimated cost of $6.6m. The order added that the switching station is estimated to cost $3.7m, and that cost is the same for all proposed routes.

Oncor Electric Delivery Company on March 16 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas an application for a certificate of convenience and necessity for the proposed Odessa EHV-Riverton and Moss-Riverton 345-kV Transmission Line Project.

The proposed project is a new 345-kV double-circuit transmission line connecting Oncor’s Riverton switching station to Oncor’s existing Odessa EHV switching station and to Oncor’s existing Moss switching station.

Oncor said that it selected “Route 1180” as the route that best addresses certain requirements. According to the filing, Route 1180 has an estimated total project cost of about $223.6m – that is, about $199.7m in transmission line cost, and about $23.8m in substation facilities cost. The filing also noted that Oncor estimates the additional cost to install the second circuit during the construction of the Odessa EHV-Riverton 345-kV line to be $32m – included in the proposed project estimate.

According to the estimated schedule, construction of the facilities would begin in January 2020, and be completed in December 2020, which is also when the facilities would be energized.

Oncor also in March filed a joint proposed proposal for decision (PFD) with the Public Utility Commission of Texas that calls for the commission to approve Oncor’s application to amend a CCN, as amended, to build a new double-circuit-capable 345-kV transmission line, with one circuit initially installed and operated at 138 kV, from Riverton to Sand Lake.

The approved route for the Riverton-Sand Lake 345/138-kV Transmission Line is Oncor’s route 54, which is about 38.78 miles long and estimated to cost about $49.9m, excluding station costs, the PFD added. About $8.8m in station costs associated with the facilities at the Riverton switching station and Sand Lake switching station are also included in the project, the PFD said, adding that including those costs, route 54 is estimated to cost about $58.6m.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas on March 19 approved, with modifications, Pedernales Electric Cooperative’s (PEC) June 2017 application to amend a CCN to build, own, and operate a single-circuit, 138-kV transmission line from PEC’s existing Highway 32 substation to its existing Wimberley substation in Hays County.

An agreement – which supports approval of a certain route referred to as, “modified alternative route C” – was executed that resolves all of the issues between the parties to the proceeding, the commission said in its final order.

As noted in the order, the project involves rebuilding and upgrading an existing four-mile, 69-kV radial transmission line connecting the two substations.

The approximately 3.9-mile agreed route has an estimated cost of $6.6m, the commission said.

In Ohio, 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 will be held on June 4 in Chillicothe, an Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) ALJ said on March 8.

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.

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.

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 project’s preferred route has a total estimated cost of about $10.1m.

AEP Ohio Transco on March 15 filed with the OPSB an application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the company’s proposed Ginger Switch-Vigo 138-kV Transmission Line Project located in Ross County, Ohio.

The project is externally known as the Liberty 138-kV Transmission Line Rebuild Project, and is also part of the overall Ross-Jackson Area Improvements Project.

The project involves rebuilding about seven miles of the existing Berlin-Ross 69-kV transmission line to 138-kV standards, the company added, noting that construction of the project is anticipated to begin in 1Q19 and end in 2Q21.

The project’s 7.2-mile preferred route has an estimated cost of $16.7m.

Also in Ohio, a local public hearing regarding AEP Ohio Transco’s proposed Bell Ridge-Devola 138-kV Transmission Line Project will be held on June 4 in Marietta, an OPSB ALJ said on March 27.

The project – located about 2.4 miles north of Marietta, Ohio – is one component of the overall Southeast Ohio Area Improvements Program.

According to the project’s webpage, AEP Ohio projects the Bell Ridge-Devola line would be an approximate $15m investment by the company.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission, in an order entered on March 16, granted to Kentucky Power a CPCN to rebuild its existing 6.5-mile Hazard-Wooton 161-kV Transmission Line in Perry and Leslie counties, and to perform the related replacement of the existing 161/138-kV single-phase transformer located at the Hazard substation with a new three-phase 161/138-kV transformer.

As noted in the order, Kentucky Power last November filed an application seeking the CPCN to rebuild the line, as well as to perform an upgrade, replacement, and installation of facilities and equipment at the company’s existing Hazard and Wooton substation. The total estimated cost of the project is $44m.

East Coast

Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) staff, in a March 13 report, concluded that Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion Energy Virginia has reasonably demonstrated that rebuilding the 500-kV Dooms-Valley Line #549 is necessary to continue providing reliable electrical service in the western Virginia region and beyond.

The company proposes to rebuild, entirely within existing right of way (ROW) that has been in use since about 1966, its 500-kV Line #549 from the existing Dooms substation to the existing Valley substation, located within August County.

Staff added that according to the company, assuming that a CPCN is granted by September, the projected in-service date for the project is June 1, 2020. Dominion Energy Virginia estimates a cost of $62m for the project, consisting of $58.7m for transmission line construction work, $2m for work at the Dooms substation, and $1.3m for work at the Valley substation.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) – in an order dated March 28, and to be effective on April 5 – ordered that all responses to Jersey Central Power & Light’s (JCP&L) exceptions to an initial decision denying the company’s petition regarding its proposed 230-kV Monmouth County Reliability Project be submitted by April 12.

As noted in the order, FirstEnergy’s (NYSE:FE) JCP&L in August 2016 filed a petition with the BPU seeking a determination that the proposed transmission line between New Jersey Transit’s (NJT) Aberdeen substation in Aberdeen, N.J., and JCP&L’s Red Bank substation in Red Bank, N.J., as well as associated upgrades to JCP&L’s Taylor Lane substation in Middletown, N.J., is reasonably necessary for the service, convenience, or welfare of the public and therefore the company is entitled to relief from complying with the zoning, site plan review, and other municipal land use ordinances or rules passed by municipalities along the proposed project route.

As noted on the website of the 10-mile project, the company is “doing everything we can to minimize expenses for this $111 million project, including building it above ground and using existing rights-of-way.”

The project has a preliminary in-service date of June 2019, according to the site.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3286 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares was TransmissionHub’s chief editor until August 2021, as well as part of the team that established TransmissionHub in 2011. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial from 2005 to 2011. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines.