Cleco (NYSE:CNL) recently said that it began construction in July on a 12-mile, storm-hardened transmission line from Amelia, La., to its Bayou Vista substation that is designed to strengthen power service reliability for customers in southeast Louisiana.
A Cleco spokesperson on Aug. 3 told TransmissionHub that the name of the 230-kV line is the Bayou Vista to Terrebonne line, and that Cleco is building its portion of the line from its Bayou Vista substation near Patterson, La., to a point at Bayou Boeuf near Amelia, where it will interconnect with Entergy’s (NYSE:ETR) line. Construction is expected to end June 30, 2019, the spokesperson said.
Cleco said that its new line includes 101 new steel transmission structures with the majority of those structures ranging in height from 80 feet to 110 feet, which is nearly triple the size of the average utility pole. The largest of Cleco’s structures will be about 239 feet tall in order for the line to cross the Atchafalaya River, the company noted. The line is also crossing three other major waterways: Bayou Shaffer, Bayou Boeuf and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Cleco said.
“There are currently 11 substations in the area where the line will be routed – seven belong to Cleco, and four to neighboring utilities,” Chris Thibodeaux, Cleco manager of transmission strategy and support, said in the statement. “All 11 of these substations are currently served from two lines. This project adds a third source into that area midway between the 11 substations, therefore strengthening reliability along the Louisiana Gulf Coast region.”
Thibodeaux continued, “When the project is completed, the line will be able to withstand winds up to 120 mph.”
Cleco noted that the new line is designed to help protect the structures should debris fly or blow into the line which significantly lessens the potential for structural damage and speeds up the restoration process.
The company said that the project will cost about $62m, which includes the construction of the line and power for lights on the water-crossing structures, as well as the expansion of Cleco’s Bayou Vista substation.
Following completion of construction and successful performance testing, the line and equipment are expected to be placed into service in mid-2019, Cleco said.