Monthly Project Review June 2018

TransmissionHub presents a roundup of most of the transmission project news that occurred in June, including WPPI Energy saying in its 2017 Annual Report that the 345-kV Badger Coulee transmission project is on schedule to be in service by the end of this year.

East Coast

Starting in Virginia, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), in a June 1 order, said that a public evidentiary hearing on the May 15 application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity filed by Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion Energy Virginia is scheduled for Sept. 11 in Richmond, Va.

As noted in the order, the company is seeking approval to rebuild, entirely within an existing right of way (ROW), an approximately 8.2-mile section of the existing 11-mile, 230-kV transmission Lines #211 and #228, which run from the company’s existing Chesterfield substation in Chesterfield County to the company’s existing Hopewell substation in the City of Hopewell. The company is also seeking approval to rebuild two structures on Lines #211 and #228 near the Chesterfield substation on company owned property, as well as to complete minor equipment replacements at the Chesterfield and Hopewell substations.

The company anticipates that the rebuild project could be in service by Dec. 31, 2020, subject to commission approval and outage scheduling, the SCC added. The estimated cost of the rebuild project is about $26.4m, the SCC noted.

In other news, Dominion Energy Virginia and the Fairfax County (Va.) Board of Supervisors – collectively referred to as the stipulating parties – on June 8 filed with the SCC a stipulation regarding a 230-kV project proposed by the company. As noted in the “joint motion for leave to present stipulation and recommendation,” Dominion Energy Virginia last November filed with the commission an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to build a new single-circuit, 230-kV, underground transmission line, designated the 230-kV Idylwood-Tysons Line #2175, to run about 4.3 miles from the company’s existing Idylwood substation to the company’s existing Tysons substation, with the project located entirely in Fairfax County.

The company also sought approval to rebuild the Tysons substation using Gas Insulated Substation (GIS) equipment to accommodate a six-breaker, 230-kV ring bus within the existing property boundaries; to install new Gas Insulated Line (GIL) terminal equipment at the Idylwood substation for the new Line #2175 installation; and to perform relay work at the Reston substation. The joint motion also noted that the company further requested approval for the replacement of a tower near its Idylwood substation, Structure #2097/177, as part of its application – referred to as the replacement tower proposal.

According to the joint motion, the stipulating parties agree that the Idylwood-Tysons Project is needed, that the company has met the statutory requirements for approval, and that “Underground Alternative 05” is the optimal route for the project.

On June 18, Dominion Energy Virginia filed with the SCC an application seeking approval of the Lanexa-Northern Neck Line #224 230-kV transmission line partial rebuild projects. The company said that it proposes to rebuild, entirely within existing ROW, four separate segments of its existing Lanexa-Northern Neck line in King and Queen, King William, and New Kent counties based on the condition of the foundations and structures. Collectively, that work in the four segments is referred to as the Line #224 Partial Rebuild Projects, or the rebuild projects, the company noted. The conceptual cost of the Line #224 Partial Rebuild Projects, which assumes completion by May 2021, is about $30.7m (2018 dollars), the company said.

On June 20, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Office of Environmental Impact Review (OEIR) told the SCC that final review comments will be submitted to the SCC by Aug. 17 – barring an unforeseen suspension of the review for additional information – regarding Dominion Energy Virginia’s proposed Chesterfield-Lakeside Line #217 230-kV transmission line rebuild project.

As noted in the company’s May 31 application for approval of the project filed with the SCC, the company proposes to rebuild, entirely within an existing right of way (ROW) or on company owned property, about 21.3 miles of existing 230-kV transmission line #217 from the company’s existing Chesterfield substation in Chesterfield County to the company’s existing Lakeside substation in Henrico County; to remove or replace certain structures on Line #287 located on or near Chesterfield Power Station property, two of which share a common structure with Line #217; and to perform minor work at the related substations. The needed in-service date for the rebuild project is June 1, 2020, the company said, adding that the estimated conceptual cost of the rebuild project is about $31.6m (in 2018 dollars).

On June 5, an Appalachian Power spokesperson, citing the Botetourt Substation project’s senior outreach specialist, told TransmissionHub that there is still no cost set for that project, which, according to the company, will be located in Botetourt County, Va. The project will comprise a new 138-kV substation, about three miles of new distribution line, and a small section of transmission line that will connect the substation to an existing 138-kV transmission line, the company said.

According to a project fact sheet, the proposed substation and associated power lines will be built within the Botetourt Center at Greenfield just off Route 220. Appalachian Power noted that if approved, project construction is expected to start in summer 2019, and last about a year.

Duquesne Light Company on June 19 filed with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission a letter of notification for approval to upgrade an existing 138-kV ring bus scheme at the Montour substation in Robinson Township, Allegheny County, Pa., to a breaker-and-a-half bus scheme. The company also said that it would upgrade associated structures, including new breakers, disconnects, relays, and control cables. The company said that it estimates the project would cost about $15.6m.


Cross Texas Transmission (CTT) and the City of Garland, Texas – collectively referred to as the applicants – on June 1 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas a proposed order that calls for the commission to approve the applicants’ request to transfer certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) rights from CTT to Garland for a portion of the Limestone to Gibbons Creek 345-kV transmission line.

According to the proposed order, the portion of the double-circuit line that would be transferred to Garland is about 38.93 miles long, beginning at the existing Gibbons Creek substation in Grimes County and ending at dead end structure 39/7 in Leon County.

As noted in a “joint motion to admit evidence” included in the June 1 filing, the applicants filed the application in March for approval of transferring the CCN rights for that portion of the line, which was recently energized.

CTT seeks to transfer a portion of its CCN for the line to Garland consistent with the ownership agreed to by the applicants after being designated by ERCOT to be co-providers for the line and the Gibbons Creek substation upgrades, as part of what is known as the Houston Import Project, according to the joint motion.

In other news, the Public Utility Commission of Texas, in a June 29 final order, approved an application filed in July 2017 by the City of Garland d/b/a Garland Power & Light (Garland) involving a new single-circuit, 138-kV transmission line in Hunt County.

“The commission amends Garland’s CCN number 30063 to include the proposed transmission line using the settlement route,” the commission said.

The line will connect Texas Municipal Power Agency’s Shelby substation to Greenville Electric Utility System’s Dent Road substation, which Garland is expanding. Garland will own and operate the expanded portion of the substation, where the line will tie into, the order added. The line and Garland’s expansion of the Dent Road substation are together referred to in the order as the project.

As TransmissionHub reported, an April 9 unopposed stipulation and agreement filed with the commission by Garland called for the approval of Garland’s application, and that the estimated $7.14m transmission line “settlement route,” be approved by the commission. The settlement route agreed to by the signatories is 30,076 feet long.

In Ohio, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio staff, in a June 8 report filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB), recommended that the OPSB find that the basis of need for the Buckley Road-Fremont Center 138-kV Transmission Line Project proposed by AEP Ohio Transmission Company (AEP Ohio Transco) has been demonstrated and therefore complies with certain requirements, provided that any certificate issued by the OPSB for the proposed facility include certain conditions.

As noted in the report, AEP Ohio Transco is an affiliate of AEP Ohio/Ohio Power Company and a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP).

Staff added that AEP Ohio Transco estimates the total cost for the preferred route to be about $23.1m, and about $24.1m for the alternate route, which is about 16.7 miles long, with 5.9 miles of the line requiring new ROW from the existing ROW. The company plans to begin construction in early 2019, and to place the line in service in winter 2020, staff said. Staff recommended that the OPSB find that the alternate route represents the minimum adverse environmental impact, and therefore complies with certain requirements, provided that any certificate issued by the OPSB for the proposed facility include certain conditions.

On June 11, AEP Ohio Transco and OPSB staff filed with the OPSB a stipulation regarding the company’s application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the Ross-Ginger Switch 138-kV Transmission Line Project. The stipulation is intended to resolve all matters pertinent to the proposed project, which involves AEP Ohio Transco rebuilding about 4.8 miles of the existing Berlin-Ross 69-kV transmission line in Springfield Township, Ross County, Ohio, to 138-kV standards.

The 69-kV line would be taken out of service, and the new 138-kV line would operate at 69 kV until 138-kV standards would be needed to serve customer load, the filing noted. The proposed facility is part of the company’s broader Ross-Jackson Area Improvements Project, the filing noted.

The company’s preferred route is about 4.8 miles long, and predominantly parallels the southern edge of the existing Berlin-Ross 69-kV Transmission Line. As TransmissionHub reported last December, the preferred route has a total estimated cost of about $10.1m.

In other news, AEP Ohio Transco on June 13 filed with the OPSB an application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the company’s proposed Glencoe-Speidel 138-kV Transmission Line Rebuild Project, which involves rebuilding 12.7 miles of the existing Glencoe-Speidel 69-kV electric transmission line as an upgraded 138-kV line in Belmont County, Ohio.

The preferred route follows the existing Glencoe-Speidel line for its entire length from the Glencoe station to the Speidel station. 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.

Also on June 13, an OPSB administrative law judge said that a local public hearing regarding AEP Ohio Transco’s proposed Ginger Switch-Vigo 138-kV Transmission Line Project will be held on Aug. 30 in Chillicothe, Ohio. As TransmissionHub reported, the project is externally known as the Liberty 138-kV Transmission Line Rebuild Project and is 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 said in its March application, noting that construction of the project is anticipated to begin in 1Q19 and end in 2Q21. Upon completion of the new line, the existing 69-kV line is planned to be removed. The 7.2-mile preferred route has an estimated cost of $16.7m, the company added.

On June 14, AEP Ohio Transco and OPSB staff filed with the OPSB a stipulation and recommendation for adoption concerning the company’s proposed Rouse-Bell Ridge 138-kV Transmission Line Project, which, as noted in the filing, involves the company building about 12.7 miles of new 138-kV transmission line between the proposed Rouse substation southwest to the proposed Bell Ridge substation in Monroe and Washington counties in Ohio. The proposed project is one component of AEP Ohio Transco’s overall Southeast Ohio Area Improvements Program, the filing noted.

As TransmissionHub reported, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio staff in May noted that the preferred route is about 12.7 miles long and has total intangible and capital costs of about $14.5m.

AEP’s Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) on June 20 said that the Louisiana Public Service Commission has approved the company’s $4.5bn Wind Catcher Energy Connection project, which includes the acquisition of a 2,000-MW wind farm under construction in the Oklahoma Panhandle and construction of an approximately 350-mile dedicated power line that would carry the wind energy to the Tulsa area, where the existing grid would deliver it to customers in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas.

SWEPCO noted that it will own 70% of the project, while its sister company, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), will own 30%. The wind farm is under development by Invenergy in Cimarron and Texas counties in the Oklahoma Panhandle, SWEPCO said, adding that it and PSO will purchase the facility at completion, which is scheduled for 4Q20.

Key elements of the settlement agreement approved by Louisiana regulators are guarantees agreed to by SWEPCO, including a cap on construction costs, the company said.

AEP’s Kentucky Power on June 25 announced a proposed transmission line route for its Enterprise Park Economic & Area Improvements Project, which involves building about five miles of 138-kV transmission line in Floyd and Pike counties in Kentucky, as well as a new substation that would be located in the Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park in Pike County.

The proposed transmission line route travels northwest from the new substation through Pike County and then crosses into Floyd County, where it parallels the company’s existing 765-kV transmission line, the company said. The route ends where it connects to another existing power line west of Keathley Branch Road, the company said, adding that once the project is complete, Kentucky Power would retire the Fords Branch substation on Old Shelbiana Road.

The company noted that since the Enterprise Park project is still in the planning stages, total cost estimates are incomplete. Kentucky Power said that it plans to file for a certificate of public convenience and necessity with the Kentucky Public Service Commission later this summer. Once approved, construction is expected to start in the fall and to be complete by the middle of 2019, the company said.

In other AEP news, Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) on June 21 announced the proposed final line route for the approximately $13m Three Rivers Transmission Line Rebuild Project, which

includes six miles of transmission line construction, as well as a new substation that will allow I&M to retire an existing substation.

I&M noted that while much of the line will be rebuilt where it is currently located, a section of the line west of North Main Street and north of Hoffman Road will shift and run parallel to US 131. Construction is expected to start in the fall and to be completed by summer 2019, I&M said.

WPPI Energy, in its 2017 Annual Report, which the company announced on its website on June 25, said that the 345-kV Badger Coulee transmission project is on schedule to be in service by the end of this year. Construction progressed significantly in 2017 on the project from the Briggs Road substation north of La Crosse to northern Dane County, WPPI Energy said, adding that it owns about 1.5% of the portion of the line between the Briggs Road and North Madison substations. Construction, which started in 2016, is on budget, WPPI Energy said.

According to American Transmission Co.’s (ATC) website, ATC and Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) have received approval to build the approximately $580m, 180-mile Badger Coulee line. Dairyland Power Cooperative, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency – Wisconsin, and WPPI Energy are also owners for the portion of the project between the Briggs Road and North Madison substations, the site noted.

Pioneer Transmission LLC and NiSource’s (NYSE:NI) Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) on June 26 announced the completion of the Greentown-Reynolds transmission line that connects the Greentown station near Kokomo, Ind., to the Reynolds station located in Reynolds, Ind.

Pioneer Transmission is a joint venture of Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) and AEP, as noted in the June 26 statement about the project’s completion posted on AEP’s website.

An AEP spokesperson on June 26 told TransmissionHub that the project was put in service on June 25, and that construction began in 2016.

The statement posted on AEP’s website noted that the project included upgrades to the Reynolds station in addition to the approximately 70-mile, extra-high voltage 765-kV line.

The Greentown-Reynolds line and substation upgrades represent a $347m investment in the region’s transmission system, according to the statement.

Also on June 26, Mid-Kansas Electric Company said that it placed in service on May 25 the $65m, 138-kV Harper-to-Milan Transmission Project, which is located in Kingman, Harper, and Sumner counties. The project includes 58.9 miles of new line from Harper to Milan; 12.6 miles of new line from Harper to Rago; 5.8 miles of rebuilt line between Milan and the Viola tie; and the new connection to Westar’s Viola substation, Mid-Kansas said. The project also includes the new Bluff Creek substation, as well as modifications to the Harper and Milan substations, Mid-Kansas said.

Kentucky Power, in an application filed on June 27 with the Kentucky Public Service Commission, requested a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing the company to build the approximately 2.7-mile EastPark 138-kV Transmission Line (Phase 1); to build the new Moore Hollow 138-kV substation; and to upgrade certain facilities and equipment at the company’s existing Chadwick 138-kV substation, all in Boyd County, Ky.

The company said that the total functional estimate of the project cost is about $22.4m. The company also noted that it anticipates beginning work, subject to the grant of the requested authority, in 1Q19, and that the anticipated in-service date for the project is June 2020.

West Coast

Elijah Abinah, director, Utilities Division, in a June 5 filing made with the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee, said that from an engineering perspective, the routes proposed by Tucson Electric Power (TEP) for its proposed Irvington to Kino 138-kV Transmission Line Project appear to be technically sound.

As noted in the filing, TEP has filed an application for the issuance of certificates of environmental compatibility (CEC) for the project, which consists of new lines and structures totaling about 3.63 miles to 4.64 miles, depending on the route selected, to connect the existing Irvington substation to the future Kino substation.

Approval to site the Kino substation has been issued by the City of Tucson, Abinah added.

The proposed line would run from the Irvington substation, located at East Irvington Road and South Alvernon Way, to the future Kino substation, to be located at South Kino Parkway and East 36th Street in Tucson, Ariz., Abinah said.

According to TEP’s application, “Alternative A (Blue line) (Preferred)” is an approximately 4.64-mile route that uses existing road ROW along Irvington Road, Benson Highway, Park Avenue, and 36th Street. Alternative A has a total cost of about $5.1m, according to the application.

Lucky Corridor, LLC on June 7 said that FERC has granted final approval of the Transmission Construction and Interconnection Agreement (TCIA), fully executed between Lucky Corridor and Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), concerning Lucky Corridor’s 110-mile Mora Line transmission project. Lucky Corridor said that it is now allowed to proceed with connecting the Union County, N.M., wind energy zone with the existing PNM transmission system, at a PNM substation near Las Vegas, N.M., via the Mora Line.

According to FERC’s March 27 letter order, PNM in February filed the executed TCIA with Lucky Corridor under PNM’s Open Access Transmission Tariff. The TCIA addresses a wires-to-wires interconnection of Lucky Corridor’s transmission line to PNM’s 345-kV Arriba station, FERC said. Waiver of the commission’s notice requirements under certain commission regulations is granted, FERC said, adding that the TCIA is accepted, effective Jan. 29, as requested.

Company officials told TransmissionHub that the 115-kV Mora Line has a transfer capacity of 180 MW, and an estimated commercial operating date of Sept. 30, 2020.

The 345-kV Lucky Corridor project has an estimated cost of $131.1m, transfer capacity of at least 700 MW, and an estimated commercial operating date of July 31, 2023. Company officials added that the Transco also has additional projects in early development.

SunZia Transmission, LLC, in a motion added to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission’s website on June 19, requested that a hearing examiner issue an order authorizing the company to amend and replace its original application with an amended application regarding its proposed 500-kV transmission project.

As TransmissionHub reported, SunZia in an application received by the commission on March 12, said that it seeks an order that approves the location of two 500-kV transmission lines and related facilities in certain areas of Lincoln, Socorro, Sierra, Luna, Grant, Torrance, and Hidalgo counties. The lines would extend about 520 miles, including 320 miles in New Mexico and 200 miles in Arizona, SunZia said.

The application also sought that the order determines that a total right of way (ROW) width of about 400 feet – i.e., 200 feet for each transmission line – which may require a width of up to 1,000 feet in a few locations, is necessary for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the project.

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 added.

SunZia 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.

In its June filing, SunZia said that its pre-filed testimony, discovery responses, and testimony during cross-examination reflect that for each transmission line and related facilities, only a 200 foot ROW is required. The company noted that its pre-filed testimony and testimony during cross-examination reflect that the request for up to 1,000 feet in the original application was limited to adjusting the alignment of the 200 foot ROWs for each of the transmission lines during micro-siting in very discrete areas and only in certain exceptional circumstances.

“SunZia is requesting leave to amend and replace its original application with the amended application attached hereto as Exhibit A to clarify that it is only seeking an order from the commission approving a total of 400 feet of [ROWs], i.e., two 200 foot [ROWs] for each transmission line, and is not seeking approval of a 1,000 foot” ROW, the company said.


Wataynikaneyap Power LP on June 13 said that it has filed a leave to construct application with the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to build and operate the Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project.

The OEB has acknowledged receipt of the application and has assigned a case number (EB-2018-0190), a company spokesperson told TransmissionHub on June 13. The spokesperson said that the cost of the project is about C$1.6bn.

According to Wataynikaneyap Power’s website, Phase 1 of the project, for instance, includes an overhead alternating current transmission line and associated components that would be located within a two-kilometer-wide corridor about 300 kilometers in length.

Regarding Phase 1, the schedule posted on the site noted that, “New transmission line to Pickle Lake: potential construction start in early 2019; potential construction completion in late 2020.”

As noted in the statement, Wataynikaneyap Power is a licensed transmission partnership equally owned by 22 First Nation communities (51%), in partnership with Fortis Inc., (49%).

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.