AEP Ohio Transmission Company (AEP Ohio Transco) on Jan. 18 filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) an amendment to its application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need in relation to the company’s Yager-Desert Road 138-kV Transmission Line Rebuild Project.
As noted in the filing, AEP Ohio Transco in July 2016 submitted a certificate application to the OPSB for the project; a supplement to the application for a small route change was docketed in February 2017. The OPSB issued its certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the preferred route in May 2017.
The purpose of the project is to rebuild the existing Yager-Desert Road portion of the Dennison-Desert Road line and in the process upgrade it to 138-kV design standards. However, to meet current 138-kV standards, the new line would require a wider 100-foot right of way (ROW), which may result in impacts to some areas due to adjacent development, the company added.
The preferred route parallels the existing Dennison-Desert Road 69-kV line for the majority of its 6.8-mile length, the company said, noting that that route would be offset by about 25 feet from the existing 69-kV line to ensure safer construction and reliability, as well as to allow the existing line to remain in service. Wider offsets and deviations are proposed in specific locations to avoid buildings that would be within the ROW and other constraints, the company said.
Detailed engineering and property owner negotiations resulted in seven areas of change to the preferred route, the company added, noting that those changes comprise three categories:
- Engineering adjustments
- A shift to rebuild on existing centerline rather than offset within the existing right of way (ROW)
- Reroutes that deviate from the existing or initially proposed ROW
Four engineering adjustments totaling 0.5 miles were necessary along the OPSB-approved preferred route, the company said, noting that those adjustments are the result of detailed structure placement and engineering through review and modeling of terrain, surveyed property lines and road ROW, as well as structure and conductor clearances.
Proposed structure locations are between four and 20 feet from the OPSB-approved centerline, the company added.
Discussing the “adjustment back to centerline,” the company noted that the preferred route was originally proposed to be about 25 feet offset from the existing centerline between Structure 36 and Structure 45, the company said, adding: “However, due to property owner preference, the current preferred route will be constructed on the existing centerline, …. This will result in a slight reduction in tree clearing. This adjustment back to centerline did not add or impact any additional tracts or landowners as the adjustment back to centerline occurred on the same parcels as proposed.”
Of reroutes, the company noted, for instance, that “Reroute 1” is between Structure 30 and Strucutre 35 – the location of the angle structure was shifted to avoid a natural gas line in conjunction with property owner negotations. At its greatest difference, the reroute is about 150 feet from the OPSB-approved route, the company said, noting that the total length of Reroute 1 is about 0.4 mile. No additional tracts or landowners were impacted or added by that reroute, the company said, adding that all property owners were agreeable and signed easements for the reroute.
Among other things, the company said that it plans to begin construction of the line in January in areas that have not changed, with an estimated in-service date of November 2020.