The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB), in a Nov. 15 order, directed that a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need be issued to Harrison Power Transmission, LLC (Harrison Transmission) for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Harrison Power 138-kV Transmission Line Project.
The OPSB said that it adopts a stipulation and recommendation between Harrison Transmission and regulatory staff. As part of that stipulation, the signatory parties recommend that the OPSB issue the certificate, subject to certain conditions, including that the facility be installed on Harrison Transmission’s modified preferred route as presented in the application and as modified and clarified by, for instance, supplemental filings.
The OPSB also noted that Harrison Transmission in January filed an application with the OPSB, stating that the project involves the construction and operation of a double-circuit transmission line connecting the existing Nottingham substation in Athens Township, Harrison County, Ohio, and the Harrison power plant, a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle, electric generating facility located in Harrison County, which is about 4.5 miles from the Nottingham substation.
Harrison Transmission said that the proposed Harrison power plant was pending before the OPSB in a separate application. The OPSB added that it ordered the issuance of a certificate for the Harrison power plant in Case No. 17-1189-EL-BGN in June. Harrison Transmission said that the sole purpose of the current project is to deliver electricity generated by the Harrison power plant to the regional power grid.
The OPSB also noted that the preferred route for the project is about 4.36 miles long, adding that that route begins at the Harrison power plant and travels southwest for about one mile before heading south to connect with the Nottingham substation. The preferred route predominantly parallels the east side of the existing AEP Ohio Transco Nottingham Transmission Line.
Further discussing the stipulation and conditions, the OPSB also said that conditions related to the project include that Harrison Transmission conduct a preconstruction conference prior to the start of any construction activities; that the certificate become invalid if Harrison Transmission has not commenced a continuous course of construction of the proposed facility within five years of the date of issuance of the certificate; and that Harrison Transmission contact staff, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) within 24 hours if state- or federal-listed species are encountered during construction activities.
Other conditions include that construction in the upland sandpiper preferred nesting habitat types is to not occur during the species’ nesting period of April 15 to July 31, unless coordination with the ODNR allows a different course of action, and that Harrison Transmission is to adhere to seasonal cutting dates of Oct. 1 through March 31 for removal of any trees greater than or equal to three inches in diameter, unless coordination efforts with the ODNR and the USFWS allow a different course of action.
“Upon review, the board finds that, as a package, the stipulation benefits the public interest by resolving the issues raised in this matter without resulting in litigation,” the OPSB added.
Based on the evidence of record, the proposed line is needed to improve and expand transmission service, as well as improve electric service reliability in the Harrison County region, the OPSB said.