TVA: Public comments on proposed 161-kV line in Alabama due by Feb. 18

The project is expected to be in service in early 2023, with construction scheduled to begin in fall-winter 2022-2023, according to the project’s webpage

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on Jan. 13 said that the deadline for public comments on a transmission project that involves building about 11 miles of 161-kV transmission line to provide power for growing load and increase power reliability in the Trade area of Cullman County, Ala., served by Cullman Electric Cooperative (Cullman EC), is Feb. 18.

Cullman EC plans to expand and upgrade the Trade 46-kV substation to 161 kV, TVA said, adding that its proposed line would begin at Cullman EC’s existing Bremen 161-kV substation located on Alabama Highway 69, and then extend northwest 11 miles to the upgraded Trade substation located west of the intersection of County Roads 937 and 933.

TVA said that the new line would be built using a combination of single-pole and H-frame, steel structures centered on all new 100-foot-wide right of way (ROW). Alternative line segments and routes are under consideration for the route of the new line, TVA said.

As noted on the project’s webpage, the existing 11-mile, radial 46-kV line that serves the Trade station from the Jones Chapel station was built by a coal company in 1977 as a temporary feed and later conveyed to Cullman EC. An increase in lakefront development around Lewis Smith Lake in the area served from the Trade station has caused seasonal surges in demand resulting in significant voltage drops, the site noted, adding that Cullman EC is experiencing up to a 7% drop in voltage on the old 46-kV line. Due to the age, low performance and poor condition of those facilities, Cullman EC has decided to retire the 46-kV line, as well as expand and upgrade the Trade station to 161 kV, the site noted.

The project is expected to be in service in early 2023, with construction scheduled to begin in fall-winter 2022-2023, the site said.

TVA spokesperson Malinda Hunter on Jan. 17 told TransmissionHub that the budget for the project is about $10m.