DP&L seeks approval in Ohio of West Milton-Eldean 138-kV project

Dayton Power and Light (DP&L) on Feb. 1 filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board an application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need in order to build, maintain, operate, and own the single-circuit West Milton-Eldean 138-kV Transmission Line Project in Miami County, Ohio.

As noted in the application, the purpose of the project is to allow for adequate transmission system voltages to be maintained in the northwest area of the DP&L transmission system under various outage conditions, as required to comply with mandatory NERC reliability standards.

The PJM Interconnection Regional Transmission Expansion Planning contingency analysis show that under the multiple contingency of DP&L’s Shelby-Sidney 138-kV circuit and DP&L’s Miami-Eldean 138-kV circuit, voltages would be below the minimum acceptable level per NERC reliability criteria at multiple transmission buses, DP&L said.

That contingency scenario would effectively leave the northwest area of the DP&L transmission system without a 138-kV source, DP&L said, adding that the proposed 138-kV circuit would mitigate that situation and allow for compliance with the mandatory NERC reliability standards.

The project would originate at the existing West Milton substation, which is located just south of the Village of West Milton in Union Township, Miami County. DP&L added that the line would extend along the west side of the Village of West Milton to a point south of the Village of Ludlow Falls, then head east adjacent to State Route 55, leave Union Township and enter Concord Township, north near Forest Hill Road, and then across agricultural land toward the northeast, until the route reaches the existing Eldean substation, located on Experiment Farm Road.

The company noted that the preferred and alternate routes are 16.7 miles long.

The project is located partially within the Village of West Milton and City of Troy, as well as unincorporated Union and Concord townships in Miami County. DP&L added that the project would require a 75-foot-wide permanent right of way (ROW), but where parallel to road ROW, a 30-foot-wide permanent ROW would be required. The typical height of the transmission structures would be about 70 feet, with an anticipated maximum of 90 feet.

The company also said that some portions of the proposed line would have a 12.47-kV electric distribution line underbuild where the proposed route is co-located with an existing overhead electric distribution line – primarily along public road ROW.

Per Ohio Administrative Code, the preferred and alternate routes for the project cannot be more than 20% in common to be considered as alternatives. An administrative law judge in September 2018 ordered that DP&L’s waiver to meet that requirement be granted, the company added, noting that the preferred and alternate routes are about 37% in common.

As TransmissionHub reported, DP&L, in an August 2018 filing submitted with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), requested that a docket involving its proposed West Milton-Eldean 138-kV Transmission Line Project be closed. The docket, PUCO Case Number 14-0469-EL-BTX, was opened and a pre-application notification letter was filed with the OPSB in March 2014, the company said.

“Since that time, the project was delayed and OPSB staff recently informed DP&L that, in staff’s view, the project would have to be re-filed with a new case number,” the company said. “DP&L is willing to proceed forward on this basis and, thus, DP&L is not anticipating any further filings of docket 14-0469-EL-BTX and requests that this docket be closed.”

DP&L also said at the time that it will file a new application for the same project in the near future.

A company spokesperson on Aug. 10, 2018, told TransmissionHub that the OPSB has required the company to rewrite and submit to the OPSB an application to conform to new rules, which starts the process over.

"Our plan is to have another open house meeting and submit the application to" the OPSB by the end of the year, she said, adding that the expectation is to have approval in 2019, with construction starting in 2021, and the project being in service in 2022.

The project was delayed as the company investigated schedules and budgets to best fit system loading and PJM requirements, the spokesperson said.

"By the time a favorable internal and PJM schedule were established the rules changed and sufficient time had passed," she said. "This resulted in the board requesting we refile based on new rules."

According to the Feb. 1 application, as part of the project’s filing with the OPSB under a new docket number, DP&L held a third open house to present the current preferred and alternate routes to the public and to solicit public feedback.

The preferred route, for instance, parallels 10.3 miles of either existing transmission line ROW – 2.3 miles – or public road ROW – eight miles. The remainder of the route – 6.4 miles – primarily consists of open agricultural fields, DP&L added, noting that the preferred route would also convert the existing single-circuit West Milton-Greenville 138-kV transmission line to double circuit with new structures for about 2.3 miles from the West Milton substation to Davis Road.

Prior to the second public meeting, the preferred route was the third-highest scoring route overall, DP&L said, noting that the higher-ranked routes were not selected as the preferred route because they unfavorably bisect several agricultural field parcels or paralleled Greenlee Road.

When initially proposed in the prior docket, siting along Greenlee Road generated substantial public opposition. DP&L added that at the second public meeting, the preferred route received comments of support; however, at the third public meeting, comments were received in favor of and against. Following the third public open house, about three miles of the alternate route were swapped with the preferred route based on landowner comments.

Among other things, the company also said that estimated applicable intangible and capital costs of the preferred route total about $12.9m.

According to the current project schedule, the facility, if approved, would be placed in service in May 2022.

As noted in the application, DP&L is a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of AES Corporation.

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.