Monthly Project Review November 2018

TransmissionHub presents a roundup of most of the transmission project news that occurred in November, including Eversource (NYSE:ES) on Nov. 13 saying that construction of a new 3.7-mile, 115-kV electric transmission line is underway and scheduled to be complete by late 2019.

West

Starting with Quanta Services, the company on Nov. 1 said that it has been selected by Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary PacifiCorp to provide engineering, procurement and construction solutions for the Aeolus-Jim Bridger Transmission Line Project, which consists of about 138 miles of single-circuit, 500-kV transmission line and about five miles of single-circuit, 345-kV transmission line. The 500-kV line connects the new Aeolus substation near Medicine Bow, Wyo., to the new Anticline substation located near Point of Rocks, Wyo., while the 345-kV line connects the Anticline substation to a new line termination bay at the Jim Bridger Generating Station substation, the company said.

The company said that it expects to begin engineering and procurement activities for the project by year-end, with construction starting in spring 2019. Quanta said that it expects to complete the project in late 2020.

The Arizona Corporation Commission, in a Nov. 27 order, approved a certificate of environmental compatibility (CEC) issued by the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee for Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District’s proposed Southeast Power Link Project.

As noted in the Sept. 17 CEC, the project includes the construction and operation of about seven miles of new 230-kV, double-circuit transmission line from the existing Santan-Browning 230-kV line to a new substation – RS-31 – located east of the Loop 202/SR-24 interchange and terminating at the permitted, future Abel-Pfister-Ball 230-kV line.

Project components are located in the City of Mesa, Ariz., the Town of Queen Creek, Ariz., and Maricopa County, Ariz. The approved route – referred to as the CEC route – is about seven miles long and includes the 230-kV/69-kV (RS-31).

Midwest/South

AEP Ohio on Nov. 1 said that it is considering additional study segments for a five-mile portion that will be built as part of the Guernsey-Harrison Power Improvements Project. The project was announced just over a year ago with plans to upgrade about 19 miles of transmission line and build about five miles of line east of Cambridge, the company noted. According to the project’s webpage, the 69-kV line – in Guernsey and Harrison counties – will use primarily steel single-pole structures that will be about 80 feet tall. The webpage also noted that AEP Ohio anticipates project completion in late 2020, and that early estimates show that the project is an approximate $25m investment.

Public Utilities Commission of Ohio staff on Nov. 14 filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) a report recommending that the OPSB find that the basis of need for a 138-kV project has been demonstrated and therefore complies with certain requirements, provided that any certificate issued by the OPSB for the facility include certain conditions. As noted in the report, AEP Ohio Transmission Company (AEP Ohio Transco), in June filed an application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the Glencoe-Speidel 138-kV Transmission Line Rebuild Project, which involves installing a new 138-kV overhead electric transmission line between the Glencoe substation and the Speidel substation.

Staff recommended that the OPSB find that the preferred route represents the minimum adverse environmental impact, provided that any certificate issued by the OPSB for the proposed facility include certain conditions, including that the facility be installed on the preferred route, which is about 12.7 miles long; the company estimates the applicable intangible and capital costs for the preferred route are about $26m.

The 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. 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 OPSB, in a separate Nov. 15 order, approved a stipulation between AEP Ohio Transco and regulatory staff, and directed that a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need be issued to the company for construction of the Ginger Switch-Vigo 138-kV Transmission Line Project.

As noted in the order, the company seeks certification to build the line in Ross County, between the existing Ginger Switch and Vigo substation; the company proposes to place the line in service in 2Q21. Regulatory staff has noted that the company estimates the applicable intangible and capital costs for the preferred route at about $16.7m.

In Texas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) on Nov. 5 recommended that the Public Utility Commission of Texas select a route for Oncor Electric Delivery Company’s proposed Owl Hills to Tunstill Point of Delivery (POD) 138-kV Transmission Line Project that would minimize adverse impacts to natural resources, such as Alternative Route 15.

As noted by the TPWD, Oncor proposes to build the new line from the proposed Owl Hills substation in Culberson County to the existing Tunstill POD – under construction – in Reeves County. As noted in the filing, Route 15 is about 18.7 miles long, and estimated to cost about $20.6m.

As TransmissionHub reported in September, according to the estimated schedule, the facilities would be energized in September 2019.

On Nov. 7, Oncor and AEP Texas Inc., filed with the Texas commission a joint application for a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) for the proposed Sand Lake-Solstice 345-kV Transmission Line Project. The companies would each hold an ownership interest in portions of the project, which is a proposed double-circuit transmission line connecting Oncor’s Sand Lake Switch to the AEP Texas Solstice Switch.

The companies said that they have selected Route 320 as the route that best addresses certain requirements; Route 320 has an estimated total transmission line cost of about $98.2m, and an estimated total project cost – including estimated Oncor and AEP Texas substation facilities costs – of about $125.9m.

According to the estimated schedule, for both companies, the facilities would be energized in December 2020.

Separately on Nov. 7, LCRA Transmission Services Corporation (TSC) and AEP Texas Inc., filed with the commission a joint application to amend their CCNs for the Bakersfield to Solstice 345-kV Transmission Line Project in Pecos County, Texas. LCRA TSC and AEP Texas would hold separate 50% ownership interests in the project, which would connect the LCRA TSC Bakersfield station and the AEP Texas Solstice switch station.

The companies added that Route 24 has the fourth shortest length – along with Route 4 – of the 25 primary alternative routes included in the application – about 71.1 miles; and has the fourth lowest cost of the 25 primary alternative routes included in the application – about $156m.

According to the estimated schedule, for both companies, the facilities would be energized in December 2020.

Also in Texas, the commission, in a Nov. 9 final order, adopted a proposal for decision, with some exceptions, that recommended that the commission grant a CCN amendment with regards to Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative’s proposed 138-kV transmission line that will connect a new substation to a new switching station in Fannin and Hunt counties in Texas.

Rayburn contends that Route Mod L is the route that best addresses certain requirements, and is the third least-expensive route with an estimated cost of about $9.2m. The commission said that Rayburn estimated that it would energize the proposed transmission facilities by February 2020.

On Nov. 9, the TPWD filed with the commission recommendations concerning Oncor’s proposed Horseshoe Springs to Owl Hills 138-kV Transmission Line Project, including that the commission select a route for the project that would minimize adverse impacts to natural resources, such as “Alternative Route 1.”

As noted in the filing, Oncor proposes to build the new single-circuit line from the proposed Horseshoe Springs switch station to the proposed Owl Hills substation, both located in Culberson County, Texas.

The TPWD said that Route 1 is the shortest route at 18.3 miles.

Separately on Nov. 9, the TPWD recommended that the commission select a route for the proposed Ogallala to Abernathy 345-kV Transmission Line the that would minimize adverse impacts to natural resources, such as Alternative Route 5. As TransmissionHub reported, Sharyland Utilities, L.P., and the City of Lubbock, acting by and through Lubbock Power & Light (LP&L), on Sept. 6 filed with the commission a joint application for a CCN for the proposed line in Castro, Hale, and Swisher counties in Texas (Docket No. 48625).

The TPWD, in its filing, said that Alternative Route 5 is, for instance, tied with four other routes as the fifth shortest alternative route, at 57.9 miles.

On Nov. 12, the TPWD filed recommendations with the commission regarding a 345-kV transmission line proposed by CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, including that Alternative Route 20 is the route that best minimizes impacts to natural resources.

As noted in the filing, the new line would connect CenterPoint’s existing Bailey substation located in eastern Wharton County to the existing Jones Creek substation located in southeastern Brazoria County.

According to CenterPoint’s application, Alternative Route 20 is about 68.1 miles long. According to the estimated schedule as noted in the application, the facilities would be energized in April 2022.

The TPWD, in Nov. 19 comments concerning the proposed Abernathy to Wadsworth 345-kV Transmission Line, said that it recommends that the commission select a route that would minimize adverse impacts to natural resources, such as Alternative Route 2.

As TransmissionHub reported, Sharyland Utilities, and the City of Lubbock, acting by and through LP&L – referred to as the joint applicants – on Sept. 20 filed with the commission a joint application for a CCN for the proposed line in Hale and Lubbock counties in Texas.

The TPWD said that Alternative Route 2, is, for instance, the shortest alternative route, at 32.7 miles. According to the joint applicants’ application, Route 2 has an estimated total cost of about $65.3m.

AEP Texas Inc., on Nov. 20 filed with the commission an application to amend its CCN for the proposed Rio Hondo to Majadas 345-kV Transmission Line in Cameron and Willacy counties in Texas. As noted in the filing, the proposed project is designed to connect a new transmission service customer, Las Majadas Wind Farm, LLC, which has requested AEP Texas to interconnect at its to-be-built Majadas substation at 345 kV to provide interconnection service to its planned 272.8-MW capacity wind farm in Willacy County.

The proposed line would be built between the existing AEP Texas Rio Hondo switch station and the proposed Majadas substation. The estimated total cost of the transmission facilities portion of the project is about $18.9m, while the substation facilities portion is about $3.2m, the company said. According to the estimated schedule, the facilities would be energized in September 2020.

Sharyland Utilities, on Nov. 28 filed with the commission an application to amend its CCN for the proposed Clearfork to Dog House 345-kV Transmission Line in Andrews County, Texas. As noted in the filing, Sharyland would build the project to connect its existing Clearfork switchyard to Sharyland’s proposed Dog House switchyard in order to serve a new transmission service customer, Prospero Energy, LLC, which will interconnect its 300-MW solar project to the Dog House switchyard.

Sharyland also noted that the proposed route of the project would have an estimated total cost of about $21.3m. According to the estimated schedule, the facilities would be energized in April 2020.

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) on Nov. 16 said discussed its Winchester-Union City Transmission Line Rebuild Project, which involves upgrading about six miles of a 69-kV power line that serves customers in Randolph County. The approximately $11m investment will help ensure a reliable flow of electricity for area customers and prepare the electric grid for economic growth, the company said.

According to a project fact sheet, the transmission infrastructure has reached an age where it needs to be replaced to better serve local customers. The line connects the Anchor Hocking substation in Winchester to the Price substation outside of Union City. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2020, and conclude in late 2020, the company said in its statement.

The Arkansas Public Service Commission, in a Nov. 16 order, said that there being no further action to be taken at this time in the matter involving two electric transmission lines and a new substation, the commission secretary is directed to close Docket No. 17-047-U.

As TransmissionHub reported, an administrative law judge (ALJ) in a March order, granted Carroll Electric Cooperative Corporation (CECC) a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CCN), authorizing it to build, own, operate, and maintain the two high capacity lines, all in Benton County, Ark. The ALJ 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 Arkansas commission, in a separate Nov. 16 order, said that there being no further action to be taken at this time in the matter involving a new 23-mile, 69-kV transmission line, the commission secretary is directed to close Docket No. 17-075-U.

The last action taken on the matter was an April 5 order signed by an ALJ granting to Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) a CCN authorizing it to build, own, operate, and maintain the new line in Monroe and Lee counties in Arkansas for the delivery of wholesale power and energy to Woodruff Electric Cooperative Corporation.

As noted in the April order, according to an AECC witness, the estimated cost of the new line is $15m; the line is scheduled to be completed by March 1, 2020.

The Midcontinent ISO (MISO) on Nov. 27 said that NextEra Energy Transmission Midwest LLC has been selected as developer for the new Hartburg-Sabine Junction 500-kV project in East Texas. The NextEra proposal includes an estimated $115m power grid investment consisting of a new 23-mile, 500-kV transmission line, four 230-kV lines, and a new substation, MISO said.

According to the MISO Nov. 27 selection report, the new 500-kV line will run generally southwest from the existing Hartburg substation – which is owned by Entergy Texas, Inc. – to a new project substation – the Stonewood 500-kV substation. Four new 230-kV transmission lines originating from the Stonewood substation will interconnect to existing 230-kV transmission lines nearby. The report noted that the project has a planned in-service date of June 1, 2023.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on Nov. 27 said that it is seeking public input about upgrades to its transmission system, which involves building about nine miles of new 161-kV transmission line to provide power for growing load and increase power reliability in the Kenlake area of Calloway and Marshall counties in Kentucky. The new line would begin at a point on TVA’s existing Marshall-Murray 161-kV transmission line and extend southeast to a new substation planned by West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (WKRECC), TVA said.

The project is expected to be in service in summer 2021, with construction scheduled to begin in winter 2020-2021, according to the project’s webpage.

TVA spokesperson Scott Fiedler on Nov. 30 told TransmissionHub that TVA is planning to invest about $11m on the project, adding that that number may be adjusted once the project is fully scoped.

Invenergy LLC affiliate Deuel Harvest Wind Energy LLC on Nov. 30 filed with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission an application for energy facility permits regarding the Deuel Harvest North Wind Farm wind energy conversion facility and a 345-kV transmission line with associated 345-kV interconnection substation to be located entirely within Deuel County, S.D.

The project would have a nameplate capacity of up to 310.1 MW and would include construction of up to 112 turbines, according to the application, which was prepared for Deuel Harvest by Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc.

Deuel Harvest also said that it is negotiating a generator interconnection agreement (GIA) with Otter Tail Power and MISO. The GIA requests a project in-service date in 4Q20, Deuel Harvest said, adding that project construction would need to begin by 4Q19 to meet an in-service date in 4Q20.

Deuel Harvest said that the current estimated capital cost of the project – including the wind farm and transmission facility – is about $400m. The wind farm has a current estimated capital cost of $387m, and the transmission facility has a current estimated capital cost of $13m.

East

The Virginia State Corporation Commission, in a Nov. 1 final order, said that Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion Energy Virginia (Dominion) is authorized to build and operate a 230-kV rebuild project as proposed in the company’s application, subject to certain conditions.

As noted in the final order, Dominion in May filed with the commission an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) to, for instance, rebuild, entirely within an existing right of way (ROW), an approximately 8.2-mile section of the existing 11-mile Lines #211 and #228, which run from the company’s existing Chesterfield substation to the company’s existing Hopewell substation.

The commission said that the rebuild project must be built and in service by Dec. 31, 2020; however, the company is granted leave to apply for an extension for good cause shown.

As TransmissionHub reported in October, 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.

In other Dominion news, the commission, in a Nov. 2 final order, granted a request by Dominion for a CPCN to build and operate the “Virginia Interconnect Facilities” related to an offshore wind project. As noted in the order, Dominion in August filed a petition that relates to proposed Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) generation facilities consisting of two 6-MW (nominal) wind turbine generators located about 27 statute miles (about 24 nautical miles) off the coast of Virginia Beach in federal waters, as well as the related generation and distribution interconnection facilities (CVOW Interconnect Facilities), which include a smaller subset of generation interconnection facilities that are located entirely within Virginia (Virginia Interconnect Facilities).

The commission said that it finds – as a purely factual matter based on the record – “that the proposed CVOW Project would not be deemed prudent as that term has been applied by this commission in its long history of public utility regulation or under any common application of the term.”

The commission said that it further finds, however, that as a matter of law, the new statutes governing the case subordinate the factual analysis to the legislative intent and public policy set forth in certain statutes and, thus, the petition should be – and is – approved.

In a Nov. 2 statement, Dominion said, in part: “The $300 million project will be funded through existing base rates, as enabled by the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018 (GTSA). Contingent on various regulatory approvals, onshore construction would start in 2019, followed by turbine installation and operation in 2020.”

Also in Virginia, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on Nov. 7 filed with the commission recommendations concerning Dominion’s proposed Fudge Hollow-Low Moor Line #112 and East Mill-Low Moor Line #161 138-kV Transmission Line Partial Rebuild project.

As noted in the filing, Dominion has submitted an application to the commission for a CPCN for the project in Alleghany County and the City of Covington, which includes rebuilding, entirely within an existing ROW, Virginia Department of Transportation ROW, or on Dominion-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 existing Fudge Hollow Station to the existing Covington substation.

As TransmissionHub reported in October, the company stated that the rebuild project could be in service by Dec. 31, 2020, subject to commission approval and outage scheduling; 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 a Nov. 13 report, State Corporation Commission Hearing Examiner Michael Thomas recommended that the commission issue to Dominion a CPCN to build and operate the Chesterfield-Lakeside Line #217 230-kV transmission line rebuild project, which involves rebuilding, entirely within an ROW or on company owned property, about 21.3 miles of the existing 230-kV Chesterfield-Lakeside Line #217 from the company’s Chesterfield substation to the company’s Lakeside substation.

The proposed route for the rebuild project is about 21.3 miles of existing transmission line ROW currently occupied by the existing 230-kV Chesterfield-Lakeside Line #217, Thomas said. The needed in-service date for the project is June 1, 2020, and its estimated cost is about $31.6m.

The commission, in a Nov. 15 order, said that it finds that a substation project proposed by Dominion is not an “ordinary extension[] or improvement[] in the usual course of business” and therefore requires a CPCN. The new substation would be located 1.5 miles from the Bremo power station. The commission also said that as part of that effort, the company seeks to cut in the Bremo-Cunningham Line #5, Bremo-Sherwood Line #91, and Bremo Charlottesville Line #2028 (Line Cut-In) into the proposed new Fork Union substation – collectively, referred to as the project.

Dominion estimates the conceptual cost of the proposed project to be about $27.2m, including $5.4m for transmission-related work and $21.8m for substation-related work (2018 dollars). The commission also noted that the company seeks an in-service date for the proposed project of Nov. 30, 2019.

The Virginia commission, in a Nov. 27 order, granted a motion in which Appalachian Power Company sought an extension of the in-service date for the approximately $40m South Abingdon 138-kV Extension Transmission Line Project in Washington County and the Town of Abingdon. According to the company, the project includes the construction of a new, approximately 3.8-mile, 138-kV transmission line on new ROW between a tap point on the company’s existing Saltville-Kingsport 138-kV transmission line.

The commission added that in October 2017, it issued an order that stated, in part, that the project must be built and in service by Dec. 31, 2018, but that the company is granted leave to apply for an extension for good cause shown. The company on Nov. 13 filed a motion for extension of date for completion of construction, requesting an extension of the Dec. 31, 2018 date until June 30, 2020. The commission said that the Dec. 31, 2018 completion and in-service date for the project is extended until June 30, 2020, provided however that the company is granted leave to apply for an extension of that date for good cause shown.

Eversource on Nov. 13 said that construction of a new 3.7-mile, 115-kV electric transmission line is underway and scheduled to be complete by late 2019.

“The Greater Hartford Central Connecticut Reliability Project route passes through portions of Newington, West Hartford and Hartford, along existing Eversource and Amtrak rights of way, as well as under some town streets,” the company said.

The $61m improvement project includes enhancing two local substations and installing the new line, Eversource said.

Eversource Vice President of Project Management Steve Sullivan said in the statement, in part, “This new high-voltage line is crucial to improving power flow in the region and will enable us to reliably serve our customers even during times of high demand, such as a heat wave.”

According to the project’s webpage, the hybrid overhead and underground line is being built between the company’s Newington substation in Newington, Conn., and its Southwest Hartford substation in Hartford.

According to the webpage, construction on the Newington substation modifications started on Oct. 10, and the start of construction on the overhead line – pending all necessary approvals – is scheduled for late 2018.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 2807 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 13 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at corinar@pennwell.com.