TransmissionHub presents a roundup of most of the transmission project news that occurred in September, including FERC dismissing Nevada Hydro Company’s March petition, which sought a declaratory ruling that finds, for instance, that the Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage (LEAPS) facility is a transmission facility consistent with a previous FERC order and FERC’s 2017 policy statement regarding cost recovery for storage resources.
Starting in Virginia, the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), in a Sept. 5 filing submitted to the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), provided recommendations concerning Virginia Electric and Power’s (Dominion Energy Virginia) proposed Lanexa-Northern Neck Line #224 230-kV Transmission Line Partial Rebuild project, including that the company should conduct an on-site delineation of all wetlands and stream crossings within the project area with verification by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As TransmissionHub reported in June, according to the company, the conceptual cost of the Line #224 Partial Rebuild Projects, which assumes completion by May 2021, is about $30.7m (2018 dollars); about $1m of that total is for substation- and distribution-related costs.
In a Sept. 5 final order, the SCC authorized Dominion Energy Virginia to build and operate the Idylwood-Tysons 230-kV, single-circuit transmission line, as proposed in its application and amended in a stipulation, subject to certain conditions. As TransmissionHub reported in April, as noted in an SCC staff report, the project has an expected in-service date of June 2022, and is estimated to cost $121.8m.
On Sept. 6, the DEQ filed with the SCC recommendations concerning Dominion Energy Virginia’s proposed Landstown-Thrasher Line #231 230-kV Transmission Line Rebuild in the cities of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. The DEQ recommended, for instance, that prior to commencing project work, all wetlands and streams within the project corridor should be field delineated and verified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As noted in the report, the proposed project involves rebuilding about 8.5 miles of the existing 230-kV, overhead, single-circuit transmission line #231 on double-circuit structures.
In a Sept. 10 final order, the SCC authorized Dominion Energy Virginia to build and operate the 500-kV component of a rebuild project, subject to certain conditions. The company has proposed to rebuild, entirely within existing right of way (ROW), about 17.7 miles of the existing 500-kV Dooms-Valley Line #549 in Augusta County, located between Dominion’s existing Dooms substation and Valley substation. The commission also said that the proposed in-service date for the rebuild project is June 1, 2020, and that the total cost for the project is about $62m.
In a Sept. 21 report, SCC staff concluded that Dominion Energy Virginia has reasonably demonstrated the need to build the Chesterfield-Lakeside Line #217 230-kV Transmission Line Rebuild project. As noted in staff’s report, as part of the project, the company has proposed to rebuild, entirely within an existing ROW, the existing approximately 21.3-mile, 230-kV transmission Line #217. The rebuild project is estimated to cost about $31.6m, and has an expected in-service date of June 1, 2020, staff said, adding that the company’s goal is to begin construction of the rebuild project in June 2019.
In a Sept. 26 report filed with the SCC, a hearing examiner said that a partial rebuild of Lines #211 and #228 proposed by Dominion Energy Virginia is needed to address aging infrastructure and maintain transmission system reliability. The company’s existing 230-kV Lines #211 and #228 run together about 11 miles, extending from the company’s Chesterfield substation to its Hopewell substation, supported by shared, double-circuit structures. The company estimates that the total cost of the proposed rebuild project is about $26.4m, of which about $25.8m is for transmission line work and $0.6m is for substation work, the hearing examiner added.
In a Sept. 27 order, the SCC said that a public evidentiary hearing will be held on Feb. 12, 2019, regarding Dominion Energy Virginia’s application involving proposed electric transmission facilities in Alleghany County, Va., and City of Covington, Va. As noted in the filing, the company proposes to, for instance, rebuild, entirely within existing transmission ROW, Virginia Department of Transportation ROW, or on company owned property, about 1.4 miles of the existing 138-kV overhead transmission Lines #112 and #161, which are collocated primarily on steel towers running from the company’s existing Fudge Hollow station to the existing Covington substation.
The company states that the rebuild project could be in service by Dec. 31, 2020, subject to commission approval and outage scheduling. According to the application, the commission added, the estimated cost of the rebuild project is about $11.3m, which includes $11m for transmission-related work and $0.3m for substation-related work.
In New York, Deepwater Wind South Fork, LLC on Sept. 14 filed an application with the New York State Public Service Commission for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need to build, operate, and maintain the 138-kV South Fork Export Cable (SFEC). The alternating current electric cable would connect the South Fork Wind Farm (SFWF), located offshore in federal waters on the Outer Continental Shelf, to the existing mainland electric grid in the Town of East Hampton on Long Island, Suffolk County, N.Y.
In a Sept. 17 order, the commission granted certain waivers in relation to the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) proposed rebuild of the existing Moses-Adirondack 1&2 230-kV Transmission Lines. The project includes rebuilding NYPA’s existing 230-kV Moses-Adirondack 1 and 2 transmission lines, which extend about 86 miles from the St. Lawrence Power Project’s Robert Moses Power Dam switchyard in the Town of Massena, St. Lawrence County, to the Adirondack substation in the Town of Croghan, Lewis County. With its application, NYPA submitted a motion requesting waivers of certain commission regulations governing the content of an application for a certificate, the commission said, adding that NYPA amended its motions in August and submitted an additional set of maps in support.
In a separate Sept. 17 order, the commission granted certain waivers requested by North Bergen Liberty Generating, LLC (NBLG) regarding a proposed 345-kV transmission project. As noted in the order, NBLG, as authorized agent for Cross Hudson, LLC, in April filed for an amendment of a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need under Public Service Law Article VII. In its application for an amendment to the certificate, NBLG proposes to build an approximately 9.6-mile submarine and underground, double-circuit, 1,200-MW, 345-kV transmission generator lead and associated equipment extending from its proposed generation facility in North Bergen, N.J., to Con Edison’s West 49th Street substation. With its application, NBLG filed a motion seeking waivers of certain regulations relating to the filing of certain maps, aerial photographs, architectural drawings, capital cost estimates, and a System Reliability Impact Study (SRIS).
In Texas, Sharyland Utilities, L.P., and the City of Lubbock, acting by and through Lubbock Power & Light (LP&L), on Sept. 6 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas a joint application for a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) for the proposed Ogallala to Abernathy 345-kV Transmission Line in Castro, Hale, and Swisher counties in Texas. Sharyland Utilities and LP&L – referred to as the joint applicants – selected Alternative Route 4 as the route that they believe best addresses certain requirements. As noted in the filing, the 57.85-mile Alternative Route 4 has an estimated total cost of $96.2m – that is, about $87.9m for the “T-Line,” about $1.9m for the Ogallala station, and about $6.4m for the Abernathy station. According to the estimated schedule, construction of the facilities would begin in March 2020 and be completed in June 2021, which is when the facilities would be energized.
On Sept. 20, the joint applicants filed with the commission a joint application for a CCN for the proposed Abernathy to Wadsworth 345-kV Transmission Line in Hale and Lubbock counties in Texas. The joint applicants noted that they selected “Alternative Route 1” as the route that they believe best addresses certain requirements. As noted in the filing, Alternative Route 1 has 32.9 ROW miles and an estimated total cost of about $66.1m.
Also in Texas, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC on Sept. 12 filed with the commission an application to amend a CCN for the proposed 345-kV Bailey-Jones Creek Project. CenterPoint said that it concurred with POWER Engineers’ selection of Proposed Alternative Route 5 as the route that best addresses certain requirements; that route is one of the shorter routes at 57.8 miles. However, the company said, if the commission prefers to not approve a route that crosses state-owned property, CenterPoint identified Proposed Alternative Route 28 as the route that best meets certain requirements of those routes that avoid state-owned property.
According to the filing, Proposed Alternative Route 5 has an estimated total cost of about $481.7m, and Proposed Alternative Route 28 has an estimated total cost of about $575.3m. According to the estimated schedule as noted in the application, construction of the facilities would begin in January 2021 and be completed in April 2022, which is also when the facilities would be energized.
In a Sept. 17 order, the commission approved – with modifications – a proposal for decision issued by a State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) administrative law judge (ALJ) in relation to Oncor Electric Delivery Company’s proposed 345-kV project.
As noted in the order, Oncor in March filed an application to amend its CCN for a transmission line in Crane, Ector, Loving, Reeves, Ward, and Winkler counties. The facilities consist of a new double-circuit-capable transmission line on double-circuit, lattice-steel tower structures. The commission added that both circuits will terminate at Oncor’s Riverton switching station under construction in Reeves County, with one circuit extending from Oncor’s existing Odessa Extra High Voltage (EHV) switching station, located in Ector County, (Odessa EHV Switching Station to Riverton Switching Station line), and the other circuit extending from Oncor’s existing Moss switching station, located in Ector County (Moss Switching Station to Riverton Switching Station line).
The best alternative is the 116-mile Route 1180, which is estimated to cost about $199.7m, excluding station costs, the commission added, noting that about $23.8m in costs required for the facilities at the Riverton, Moss, and Odessa EHV switching stations are also included in the proposed transmission facilities. Including those costs, Route 1180 is estimated to cost about $223.6m.
In other Texas news, according to a notice of approval signed on Sept. 19 by Irene Montelongo, director, Docket Management, the commission amends Southwestern Public Service’s (SPS) CCN for the construction and operation of the TUCO to Hale Wind 230-kV transmission line along the proposed route.
According to the notice, SPS in May filed an application to amend its CCN to build the line in Hale County to connect the existing TUCO substation and the new Hale Wind collection substation, which will serve a 478-MW wind generation plant and related facilities. The 230-kV line will interconnect the Hale Wind collection substation to the SPS transmission system, the notice said. The project’s estimated total cost is about $9.4m, consisting of about $9.3m for transmission facilities and $124,174 for substation facilities, according to the notice.
In a Sept. 28 proposal for decision, a SOAH ALJ recommended that the commission approve Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative’s application concerning a proposed 138-kV, single-circuit transmission line “along Route Mod L.” As noted in the proposal for decision, Rayburn filed its application with the commission in January to amend its CCN for the line in Fannin and Hunt counties in Texas. Route Mod L, the ALJ said, would be 12.98 miles long and cost about $9.2m.
In Ohio, American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) AEP Ohio Transmission Company (AEP Ohio Transco) and the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) staff – collectively referred to as the parties – on Sept. 11 filed with the OPSB a stipulation that is intended to resolve all matters pertinent to the company’s proposed Ginger Switch-Vigo 138-kV Transmission Line Project.
The stipulation included such recommended conditions as that the facility is to be installed on the company’s preferred route. As TransmissionHub reported in August, the company estimates the applicable intangible and capital costs for the preferred route at about $16.7m.
In other Ohio news, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio staff, in a Sept. 18 report filed with the OPSB, recommended that AEP Ohio Transco’s proposed Vigo-Pine Ridge Switch 138-kV Transmission Line rebuild project be installed on the company’s preferred route, utilizing the equipment, construction practices, and mitigation measures as presented in the application filed in March, and further clarified by recommendations in the report. Staff also noted that the company estimates the applicable intangible and capital costs for the preferred route at about $20.7m.
In a Sept. 20 order, the OPSB directed that a certificate be issued to AEP Ohio Transco for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the company’s Buckley Road-Fremont Center 138-kV Transmission Line Project. The OPSB also noted that it approves and adopts a stipulation and recommendation between its staff and the company regarding the project. According to the stipulation, the recommended conditions of the certificate include that the facility is to be installed on the applicant’s alternate route, which, as TransmissionHub reported, has an estimated total cost of about $24.1m. According to commission staff’s June 8 report, the alternate route is about 16.7 miles long, with 5.9 miles of the line requiring new ROW.
In a Sept. 26 report filed with the OPSB, commission staff recommended that the OPSB find that AEP Ohio Transco’s preferred route for its proposed Seaman-Sardinia 138-kV Transmission Line Project 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. The company estimates the applicable intangible and capital costs for the approximately 3.7-mile preferred route are about $11.1m, staff said. The company states that it intends to begin construction of the project in late 2019, and complete construction by June 2021, staff said.
On Sept. 12, ITC Midwest LLC provided an update on the Minnesota-Iowa 345-kV Transmission Line Project, telling the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, for instance, that ROW restoration activities continued in August on portions of Segment 3 and at the Huntley substation site. The company said that it has completed all design work for the project; that it acquired the last easement for the project on Aug. 7; and that it now has all project easements, permits, and licenses needed.
On Sept. 18, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) said that it has identified a preferred route for the new Flowood Transmission Line that is designed to provide power for growing load and increase power reliability in the Flowood, Miss., area. Central Electric Power Association plans to build the Flowood substation at the southwest corner of the intersection of Mississippi Highway 471 and Vine Drive. TVA also said that its new 4.5-mile line would begin at the Sebastopol-Langford 161-kV transmission line and extend southwest to the new substation. Construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2020, and be completed by winter 2020-2021, TVA said.
In other project news, TVA on Sept. 14 said that it is proposing to build about 12 miles of double-circuit transmission line from the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant-Watts Bar Hydro Plant 161-kV transmission line to the North Dayton 161-kV substation. TVA said that it would also expand the North Dayton 161-kV substation, which is located on Back Valley Road.
TVA spokesperson Malinda Hunter on Sept. 21 told TransmissionHub: “The Flowood project is estimated to cost $4 million and the North Dayton project is estimated at about $30 million. Both projects are 161kV lines.”
On Sept. 25, Entergy (NYSE:ETR) said that Entergy Louisiana has completed the Lake Charles Transmission Project, which included building two new substations and expanding two others, as well as adding about 25 miles of high-voltage transmission lines – 500-kV and 230-kV lines – to move power more efficiently into the fast-growing region.
Entergy Louisiana spokesperson Lee Sabatini on Sept. 27 told TransmissionHub that the project’s estimated total cost was about $187m, and that the project was completed and energized in August.
On Sept. 26, American Transmission Company (ATC) said that two transmission lines – a 138-kV and a 345-kV line that run between the North Appleton substation in Outagamie County and the Morgan substation in Oconto County in Wisconsin – have been energized. ATC spokesperson Jackie Olson on Sept. 27 told TransmissionHub that the two lines were energized on Sept. 25.
The project also involved expanding both substations, the company said, adding that the new Benson Lake substation in Marinette County, Wis., went into service in 2017. The project was authorized by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in 2015 at $327.6m, the company said, adding that final numbers will not be tallied for several months.
Also on Sept. 27, Flying Cow Wind, LLC (FCW) filed an application with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission for a facility permit in order to build the collection lines, project substation, and transmission line – referred to as the project – in support of the Bitter Root Wind Project.
FCW anticipates beginning construction in 2Q20, with an anticipated in-service and commercial operation date (COD) in 3Q20, pending related approvals. FCW also said that it estimates the construction costs for the project would be $19.85m, which includes the construction costs for the collection lines, project substation, and transmission line ($15m). FCW said that it is also responsible for a portion of the costs to build the Astoria substation because of the additional equipment to facilitate interconnection of the project. FCW said that its portion of the construction costs for the Astoria substation would be about $4.85m; accordingly, the total construction costs associated with the project would be $19.85m.
In Nevada, DesertLink, LLC on Sept. 6 submitted to the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada certain documents concerning its 500-kV Harry Allen to Eldorado Project. Specifically, DesertLink submitted documentation related to the “Nevada Division of Forestry [(NDF)] – conditional permit.” The “Nevada Department of Transportation – encroachment permits for highway crossings” remain outstanding and will be provided to the commission at the earliest available date, DesertLink said.
In its Aug. 28 “conditional permit for disturbance or destruction of critically endangered species,” NDF said that it has reviewed and evaluated the application from DesertLink, including the plan of development, Bureau of Land Management environmental assessment (EA), and finding of no significant impact, as well as reclamation activities for building and operating the approximately 60-mile, single-circuit, alternative current (AC) transmission line connecting NV Energy’s Harry Allen substation in northeastern Clark County, Nev., to the California ISO grid at the Eldorado substation south of Boulder City.
As noted, FERC in a Sept. 20 order dismissed Nevada Hydro’s petition, which also sought that the declaratory ruling find that LEAPS is entitled to cost-based rate recovery under the California ISO’s (CAISO) Transmission Access Charge (TAC).
In its order, FERC noted that Nevada Hydro’s proposed $2bn LEAPS project will consist of two primary components, including the Talega-Escondido/Valley-Serrano 500-kV Interconnect (TE/VS Interconnection), which is a 30-mile transmission line that will interconnect the pumped storage facility to the transmission systems owned by Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric.
Project Manager David Kates on Sept. 26 told TransmissionHub, in part: “We were pleased to see that FERC acknowledged that the CAISO has committed to studying LEAPS as a transmission proposal that might address reliability needs. In that regard, we are submitting LEAPS to the CAISO’s present TPP window and requesting that LEAPS be analyzed both as a reliability and economic project. As a result, both we and FERC will await the outcome of the CAISO’s analysis.”