OPSB staff recommends approval of proposed modifications to AEP Ohio Transco’s 138-kV project

As noted in the filing, AEP Ohio Transco is proposing an amendment to the project which was approved by the OPSB in May 2017 in Case No. 16-0534-EL-BTX

Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) staff, in a June 7 report, said that it recommends that the OPSB approve AEP Ohio Transmission Company’s (AEP Ohio Transco) December 2018 application regarding proposed modifications to the company’s approved Dennison-Yager 138-kV Transmission Line Rebuild Project.

As noted in the filing, AEP Ohio Transco is proposing an amendment to the project which was approved by the OPSB in May 2017 in Case No. 16-0534-EL-BTX. Proposed adjustments are proffered following final detailed engineering, land surveying, and property owner discussions regarding the approved route, staff said.

None of the adjustments involve new property owners and fewer overall parcels would be crossed, staff said, adding that the type of transmission equipment would not change, and that according to the company, the economic impact would not change as a result of the adjustments. The revisions requested can be placed into three categories: engineering adjustments, shifts within existing right of way (ROW), and rerouting outside of the existing ROW. Staff added that construction on the project began in December 2017, and has since been halted in areas impacted by the requested modifications.

There are six proposed engineering adjustments, with “Adjustment 1,” for instance, involving a shift of structures 3 and 7, and was the result of final engineering of structures near a driveway and Little Stillwater Creek.

Staff also said that there are three instances of shifts to the approved preferred route, either back to the existing centerline or offset to the other side of the existing centerline. “Shift 1,” for instance, involves placing the new line back onto the existing centerline for 0.36 miles between structures 57 and 64, with the company stating that the proposed shift is within the existing ROW and would not add any additional parcels or landowners.

Staff also said that there are three instances of rerouting the approved preferred route outside of the existing ROW. “Reroute 1,” for example, involves a shift between structures 7 and 12 for a total span of 0.2 miles. Staff added that that reroute would further minimize property impacts by placing the line nearer the edge of properties, and avoid paralleling Little Stillwater Creek.

Staff said that the proposed adjustments are not expected to significantly alter existing land uses, including agricultural land, or to increase the estimated capital costs for the project.

Staff said that it “finds that the purpose of adjustments, shifts and reroutes to avoid features not known at the time of the approval, and at the request of affected property owners is reasonable.”

Among other things, staff said that the proposed adjustments would not result in increased impacts to listed wildlife species.

The company is to continue to adhere to all conditions of the order in Case No. 16-0534-EL-BTX, as amended through this application, staff said.

As TransmissionHub reported, the purpose of the project is to rebuild the existing Dennison-Yager portion of the Dennison-Desert Road line and in the process upgrade it to 138-kV design standards. The company added that to meet current 138-kV standards, however, the new line will require a wider 100-foot ROW, which may result in impacts to some areas due to adjacent development.

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.