Monthly Project Review December 2018

TransmissionHub presents a roundup of most of the transmission project news that occurred in December 2018, including American Transmission Company (ATC) on Dec. 13 saying that the 180-mile, 345-kV Badger Coulee transmission line, connecting the Dane County area with the La Crosse County area, is energized and part of an integrated electric system serving customers in the region.

East

Starting in Virginia, the Virginia State Corporation Commission, in a Dec. 3 final order, authorized Virginia Electric and Power (Dominion) to build and operate the 230-kV Landstown-Thrasher Line #231 project in the City of Virginia Beach and the City of Chesapeake, subject to certain conditions.

As noted in the order, the company sought approval to, among other things, rebuild, entirely within existing right of way (ROW) or on company owned property, about 8.5 miles of the existing 230-kV, overhead, single-circuit transmission Line #231 on double-circuit structures.

Line #231 runs from the company’s existing Landstown substation in the City of Virginia Beach to the company’s existing Thrasher substation in the City of Chesapeake, the order added.

Dominion anticipates a Dec. 30, 2020 in-service date for the project, and that the project will cost about $19m.

On Dec. 4, Dominion Energy Virginia filed with the Virginia commission an application for approval and certification of electrical facilities concerning the company’s proposed Fork Union Substation and Related Line Cut-In Project.

The company noted that it proposes to, for instance, build the new Fork Union substation in Fluvanna County, Va., located 1.5 miles from the Bremo Power Station entirely on property owned by the company.

The project’s estimated conceptual cost is about $27.2m (2018 dollars).

The company added that the desired in-service date for the proposed project is Nov. 30.

Also in Virginia, American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) Appalachian Power on Dec. 20 filed with the Virginia commission an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the Glendale Area Improvements 138-kV Transmission Project, to be located partly in Carroll County and partly in the City of Galax in Virginia.

In order to address certain criteria violations, the project needs to be in service by December 2021, the company said.

As noted in direct testimony of James Bledsoe, manager, Transmission Line Engineering for AEP’s American Electric Power Service Corporation (AEPSC), the project consists of the new two-mile Wolf Glade 138-kV Extension transmission line; the Relocated Cliffview 69-kV Tap (0.5 mile); the new Wolf Glade substation; and associated improvements at two existing substations.

According to the company, the total estimated conceptual cost of the project is about $38m. The retirements of the Cliffview substation, about 0.2 miles of the double-circuit Cliffview 69-kV Tap, and about 14 miles of the 88-kV – operated at 69-kV – double-circuit transmission line between Byllesby and Wythe, which would occur after the project is complete, have an estimated conceptual cost of $10m, the company said.

In other Appalachian Power news, the company on Dec. 27 said that it would hold an open house on Jan. 9 in Danville, Va., regarding its Berry Hill Connection Project.

Initial studies for the project include alternatives for about five miles of 138-kV transmission line and a substation in the industrial park near Danville, the company said, adding that the new line would connect an existing Appalachian Power transmission line to the new substation.

Preliminary study segments for the power line route begin inside the industrial park and travel northwest across Pittsylvania County, the company said, noting that the segments travel in various directions toward U.S. Route 58 before connecting with the existing power line.

According to a project fact sheet, the schedule calls for “application for county approvals” to occur in March; preliminary engineering to begin in April; and ROW acquisitions to begin in July.

Eversource (NYSE:ES) on Dec. 10 said that the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) has unanimously approved construction of the company’s 13-mile, 115-kV Seacoast Reliability Project (SRP) that costs more than $84m and is designed to enhance reliability of the electric system, as well as support continued economic growth in the Seacoast region.

Eversource spokesperson Kaitlyn Woods on Dec. 10 told TransmissionHub that the SEC issued its oral decision unanimously approving the project.

“Our understanding is it’s the committee’s goal to issue its written decision in early February,” Woods said. “Our goal is to continue working closely with the communities that will host the project, begin construction in the spring of 2019 and put the SRP into service in Dec. 2019.”

NextEra Energy Transmission New York (NEETNY) on Dec. 14 filed with the New York State Public Service Commission a petition requesting that the commission grant a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) under Section 68 of the Public Service Law (PSL) authorizing NEETNY to exercise the rights granted to it by certain towns to occupy and traverse public property in relation to the company’s proposed Empire State Line (ESL) Project.

As noted in the petition, NEETNY has proposed to build, own, and operate the ESL Project, which is an approximately 20-mile, 345-kV electric transmission line and associated switchyards in the Town of Royalton, Niagara County, N.Y., and the towns of Alden, Newstead, Lancaster, and Elma, Erie County, N.Y.

NEETNY noted that it filed in August an application with the commission for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need under Article VII of the PSL for authorization to build and operate the ESL project. That application is pending before the commission.

South/Midwest

Cooperative Energy on Dec. 3 filed with the Mississippi Public Service Commission a petition for a certificate of public convenience and necessity in order to acquire the necessary sites and ROWs to build, maintain, and operate a 115-kV electric transmission switching station in Holmes County, Miss.

The switching station would have three line terminations, three 115-kV gas circuit breakers, protective relay systems, and communications systems, Cooperative Energy said, noting that the switching station’s estimated cost is $2.2m.

In Ohio, AEP Ohio Transmission Company (AEP Ohio Transco) and Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) staff on Dec. 4 filed with the OPSB a stipulation, recommending that the OPSB issue a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for construction and operation of the company’s proposed Glencoe-Speidel 138-kV Transmission Line Rebuild Project, subject to certain conditions, which include that the facility be installed on the company’s preferred route, utilizing the equipment, construction practices, and mitigation measures as presented in the June application, and further clarified by recommendations in the staff’s report.

As noted in the filing, the company plans to rebuild 12.7 miles of the existing Glencoe-Speidel 69-kV electric transmission line as an upgraded 138-kV line in Belmont County, Ohio.

The company estimates the applicable intangible and capital costs for the preferred route are about $26m. The company in June 2018 said that it plans to begin construction of the line in early 2019, with an estimated in-service date in spring 2020.

In other AEP Ohio Transco news, the company on Dec. 21 filed with the OPSB an application for an amendment to a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the Dennison-Yager 138-kV Transmission Line Rebuild Project.

As noted in the filing, the OPSB in May 2017 issued its certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the project’s preferred route.

Detailed engineering and property owner negotiations resulted in seven areas of change to the preferred route, the company said, adding that those changes comprise three categories: engineering adjustments; a shift to rebuild on existing centerline rather than offset, or to the other side of the existing centerline within the existing ROW; and reroutes that deviate from the existing or initially proposed ROW.

AEP Ohio Transco said that it began construction of the line in December 2017, and that the project has an estimated in-service date in fall 2019.

On Dec. 27, AEP Ohio Transco filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio a pre-application notification letter, saying that it has identified the need to amend its certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the Yager-Desert Road 138-kV Transmission Line Rebuild Project, which was issued in May 2017.

The company said that the certificate needs to be amended to accommodate reroutes and adjustments to the approved route that have resulted after detailed engineering and property owner negotiations.

AEP Ohio Transco said that it anticipates that construction of the portions of the project that have not changed and will not be the subject of the amendment filing will begin in January, with an estimated in-service date of November 2020.

Also in Ohio, FirstEnergy’s (NYSE:FE) American Transmission Systems, Incorporated (ATSI) on Dec. 19 filed with the OPSB an application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the proposed Wood County 138-kV Reinforcement Project.

The proposed project would be located in north central Wood County, and it begins at the existing Lemoyne-Midway line, which trends east/west at the northern extent of the project area. ATSI added that the proposed line would extend generally south and terminate at the Brim substation, located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Bishop Road and Brim Road. The approximately $8.5m preferred route is about 6.1 miles long, the company added.

Construction of the project is anticipated to begin in February 2020, with an anticipated in-service date of June 2020, ATSI said.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission, in a Dec. 6 order, conditionally granted to Kentucky Power a CPCN to build and operate the “Enterprise Park Project,” subject to reasonable assurance in writing from Enerblu, Inc., that sufficient financing has been secured to complete construction of its planned facility.

As noted in the order, Kentucky Power in August filed an application requesting a CPCN authorizing it to, among other things, build about five miles of new double-circuit, 138-kV transmission line in Floyd and Pike counties in Kentucky (Kewanee Transmission Line Extension).

The commission noted that the total projected cost to Kentucky Power for the project is $33.6m.

The Kansas Corporation Commission, in a Dec. 6 order, extended until Dec. 2, 2019, the sunset term in relation to the nearly $3bn Grain Belt Express transmission line in order to allow the commission to rule on Invenergy Transmission LLC’s anticipated application to acquire Grain Belt Express Clean Line LLC (Grain Belt).

As noted in the order, Grain Belt in July 2013 filed an application for a siting permit to build in Kansas about 370 miles of the approximately 750-mile HVDC transmission line that continues to Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana; a converter station in Ford County, Kan.; and facilities to interconnect the converter station with the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).

Texas-New Mexico Power Company (TNMP) on Dec. 12 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas an application to amend its certificate of convenience and necessity for the proposed Faulkner to Alpine 138-kV Feed Project in Reeves County, Texas.

The proposed line would begin at a new substation directly east of the existing WD Faulkner substation at the end of County Road 214 (WD Faulkner). The new line would extend west and connect to the new Alpine substation located west of County Road 229, TNMP added.

TNMP said that alternative Route D provides the best balance of routing characteristics and best addresses certain requirements. According to the filing, Route D has an estimated total cost of about $15.2m; the substation facilities portion of the project has an estimated total cost of about $7.2m.

According to the estimated schedule, construction of facilities would begin in June and be completed in October, which is also when the facilities would be energized.

Also in Texas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) on Dec. 14 told the Texas commission that it recommends “Route 24” for a proposed 345-kV transmission line as the route having the least-potential to impact fish and wildlife resources.

As noted in the filing, LCRA Transmission Services Corporation (TSC) and AEP Texas, Inc., propose to build the new double-circuit, 345-kV transmission line in Pecos County, Texas. LCRA TSC would build, own, operate, and maintain the eastern half of the line connecting to LCRA TSC’s Bakersfield station and AEP Texas would build, own, operate, and maintain the western half of the line connecting to AEP Texas’ Solstice switch station.

As noted in the certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) application, the TPWD added, Route 24 has a relatively low cost, as the fourth lowest cost of the 25 primary alternative routes included in the CCN – about $156m.

The decision to recommend Route 24 was based primarily on such factors as that Route 24 is the fourth shortest route at 71.1 miles.

Southwestern Public Service (SPS) on Dec. 17 filed with the Texas commission a joint proposed notice of approval that calls for the approval of the company’s proposed 115-kV transmission line within Yoakum and Gaines counties (Mustang to Seminole) using route J. Commission staff has reviewed and agreed to the notice of approval attached to the filing, SPS said.

According to the joint proposed notice of approval, SPS’ recommended route for its project is route J, which is about 17.48 miles long. The joint proposed notice said that SPS would build the line between the existing Mustang substation and the existing Seminole substation.

The estimated cost of the project along route J is about $16.5m.

Also on Dec. 17, AEP Texas Inc., filed with the Texas commission a joint proposed notice of approval that calls for the commission to amend the AEP Texas CCN to build and operate the Tardis to Benjamin Tap 138-kV Transmission Line Project in Knox County, Texas. Commission staff agreed to the joint proposed notice of approval, the company said in a motion to admit evidence.

As noted in the joint proposed notice of approval, AEP Texas proposed one route in the application that is 1.74 miles long.

The project estimated cost for the transmission line is about $3.3m and about $6.3m for the Tardis switching station, according to the joint proposed notice.

On Dec. 19, Sharyland Utilities, L.P., and the City of Lubbock, acting by and through Lubbock Power & Light (LP&L) – referred to as the joint applicants – filed with the Texas commission a joint application for a certificate of convenience and necessity for the proposed Wadsworth to New Oliver to Farmland 345-kV Transmission Line (WNF Line) in Lubbock and Lynn counties in Texas, as well as for the proposed Southeast to New Oliver to Oliver 115-kV Transmission Line (SNO Line) in Lubbock County.

As noted in the joint application, the project is among several projects necessary to implement the commission’s final order in Docket No. 47576. The commission in March 2018 approved LP&L’s proposal to transition a large portion of its system and load from the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) grid to the ERCOT grid under a transmission interconnection plan developed by ERCOT, known as Option 4ow.

The joint applicants said that they selected the 41.9-mile WNF 20 as the route they believe best addresses certain requirements, as well as the 17.8-mile SNO 9 as the route they believe best addresses certain requirements.

The filing noted that Route WNF 20 has an estimated total cost of about $88.4m and that Route SNO 9 has an estimated total cost of about $51.9m. According to the estimated schedule, construction of the facilities would begin in March 2020 and be completed in June 2021, which is also when the facilities would be energized.

ITC Midwest on Dec. 12 told the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission that all project facilities related to the Minnesota-Iowa 345-kV Transmission Line Project are now in service.

The Huntley substation and the Huntley to Faribault 345/161-kV line – the northern portion of Segment 4 (Huntley-Iowa Border) – are fully restored as of Nov. 5, 2018.

Restoration activities for portions of Segment 3 (Rutland-Huntley) and the Faribault to Iowa border portion of Segment 4 will not be completed until next year, ITC Midwest said, adding that inspections have been completed for 2018 due to the frozen ground and snow cover.

As noted, ATC on Dec. 13 said that the Badger Coulee line is energized.

ATC spokesperson Kaya Freiman on Dec. 13 told TransmissionHub that the project was placed in service this month and that the project’s estimated cost is $580m.

A 20-mile portion of the project in Dane County was placed in service in 2017, ATC noted, adding that the project was included in a group of 17 Multi-value Projects designated by the Midcontinent ISO.

As noted on the project’s webpage, the project was jointly developed by ATC and Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL). Dairyland Power Cooperative, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency – Wisconsin, and WPPI Energy are also owners for the portion of the project between the Briggs Road and North Madison substations, according to the site.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) on Dec. 13 said that it has selected the preferred routes and substation location for the Polk County Reliability Enhancement Project, which will connect the company’s Osprey Energy Center in Auburndale to existing substations in Kathleen and Haines City in Florida.

The proposed location for the new substation will be on the Osprey Energy Center site; the new 230-kV Kathleen Transmission Line will extend from the Osprey Energy Center about 26.2 miles west to the existing Kathleen substation; and the new 230-kV Haines City Transmission Line will extend from the Osprey Energy Center about 21.4 miles east to the existing Haines City East substation.

Ana Gibbs, senior communications consultant with Duke Energy Florida, on Dec. 14 told TransmissionHub that easements will be acquired beginning in mid-2019, following land surveying and engineering, which will begin in early 2019. Construction will begin in summer 2021, with the project expected to be in service in 2024, she said.

“We are still in the early stages of the project and just entering the engineering phase so we don’t have a cost estimate at this time,” Gibbs said.

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) on Dec. 17 filed with the Arkansas Public Service Commission an application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need (CECPN) to build, own, and operate a new 161-kV switching station; an 18-mile, 161-kV transmission line; and the 161-69-kV Partain substation in Van Buren County, Ark.

AECC said that it requests a commission order by June 17, adding that if such approval is granted, the project would have an anticipated in-service date of Dec. 1, 2020.

The project is the first phase of a two-phase plan to build a 161-kV transmission loop between Clinton West and AECC’s Heber Springs North 161-69-kV substation to reinforce the 69-kV networks of Petit Jean Electric Cooperative Corporation (PJECC) and First Electric Cooperative Corporation (FECC).

AECC added that the switching station would connect to an existing Entergy (NYSE:ETR) 161-kV line that runs between Entergy substations at Quitman in Faulkner County and Hill Top, near Gilbert in Searcy County, and would provide a 161-kV source for the new transmission line.

AECC said that the estimated cost of the project is $28m.

PJECC on Dec. 27 filed with the Arkansas commission a report of project completion regarding the construction of 161-kV transmission facilities.

According to a March 1, 2017, order – in which an administrative law judge (ALJ) granted PJECC a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CCN) to build, operate, and maintain the project – PJECC in July 2016 filed an application with the APSC seeking a CCN to build, own, and operate a line from PJECC’s existing Bee Branch substation, and running south, then west, to PJECC’s new Damascus substation. PJECC in November 2016 filed an amendment to the application, amending the proposed route of the proposed line, referred to in the order as the “Amended Proposed Route,” or “Alternative 1.”

In its Dec. 27 filing, PJECC said that the project construction, electrical testing, and final energization of the electric facilities have been completed by the contractor, Global Energy Services, Inc., and the transmission line was turned over to the owner, PJECC, on April 12, 2018.

The final record length of the line is 7.23 miles, PJECC said, noting that the final cost of the project was about $7.5m.

West

The Arizona Corporation Commission, in a Dec. 12 order, approved a certificate of environmental compatibility (CEC) issued by the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee to Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO) for the APS Bagdad Interconnect 115-kV Transmission Line.

“The commission, in reaching its decision, has balanced all relevant matters in the broad public interest, including the need for an adequate, economical and reliable supply of electric power with the desire to minimize the effect thereof on the environment and ecology of this state, and finds that granting the project a CEC is in the public interest,” the commission said.

As noted in the Oct. 12, 2018, CEC, the project consists of the expansion of the existing AEPCO 69-kV Bagdad substation to allow for the installation of a 115/69-kV transformer, a 115-kV circuit breaker, and 115-kV coupling capacitor voltage transformers, as well as the construction of about one mile of 115-kV transmission line and a 115-kV disconnect switch to interconnect the Bagdad substation to the existing APS Prescott-Bagdad 115-kV transmission line.

The CEC is granted upon certain conditions, including that the authorization to build the project is to expire five years from the date that the CEC is approved by the commission, with or without modification. Construction of the project is to be complete such that the project is in service within that five-year time frame. However, the CEC added, prior to the expiration of the time period, AEPCO may request that the commission extend the time limitation.

Public Service Company of Colorado (Public Service) on Dec. 21 filed with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission an application requesting two CPCNs for the 500-MW Cheyenne Ridge Wind Farm generation facilities and for the approximately 65-mile, 345-kV Cheyenne Ridge Gen-Tie line needed to deliver the electrical output of the Cheyenne Ridge Wind Farm to Public Service’s system.

The company noted that it proposes a commercial operation date for the project on or before Dec. 31, 2020, to qualify for the full value of the federal production tax credit.

Public Service said that the estimated cost of construction of the Cheyenne Ridge Wind Project, including the wind farm and Gen-Tie, is $707m in capital costs, plus an allowance for funds used during construction of about $38m, for a total of $745m; the company estimates the total cost of the Gen-Tie to be $52.7m.

The anticipated construction start date is July, the company said.

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.