American Electric Power’s Kentucky Power on Sept. 3 said that it is resuming plans for power upgrades in Pike and Floyd counties in Kentucky through the Kewanee-Enterprise Park 138-kV Transmission Project, which involves building about five miles of transmission line, as well as a new substation, to address electrical needs in the area.
Noting that it announced the project in spring 2018 as the Enterprise Park Economic & Area Improvements Project, Kentucky Power said that it placed the project on hold in 2019 due to changing electrical needs in the area.
Kentucky Power President and COO Brett Mattison said in the statement: “The project no longer requires serving a customer in the Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park. However, our need to provide continued reliable electric service to our customers has not changed.”
The project is intended to address findings verified by PJM Interconnection, Kentucky Power said, noting that the upgrades are expected to increase the electrical grid’s performance and reliability during periods of high electric demand. The company said that it is resubmitting for a certificate of public convenience and necessity with the Kentucky Public Service Commission, adding that it is submitting a line route similar to previously announced plans.
As noted in the company’s Sept. 3 application filed with the commission, the project is required to address PJM baseline thermal and voltage criteria violations on the company’s existing 46-kV Pikeville area subtransmission network. The work to be undertaken would also permit Kentucky Power to increase the capacity of the Pikeville area 34.5-kV/12-kV distribution system. The company added that PJM has assigned the baseline project ID of b3087.1 through b3087.4 for the project.
In its statement, the company noted that crews plan to build the new substation adjacent to the Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park in Pike County. The proposed line begins at the new substation and travels northwest through Pike County; crosses into Floyd County, where it parallels the company’s existing 765-kV transmission line; and ends at an existing power line west of Keathley Branch Road. Kentucky Power added that after the project concludes, it plans to retire the Fords Branch substation located on Old Shelbiana Road.
As noted in the application, the proposed Kewanee 138-kV Transmission Line Extension would connect to the Beaver Creek-Cedar Creek Circuit of the company’s existing Sprigg-Beaver Creek 138-kV Transmission Line, between Route 3379 and Route 1426 in eastern Floyd County. The line would then proceed parallel to the existing Big Sandy-Broadford 765-kV Transmission Line for about 1.3 miles. The company added that the line then turns in a more southeasterly direction for about 3.7 miles where it terminates at the proposed Kewanee 138-kV substation.
The proposed route principally crosses remote and rugged terrain that previously was surface mined and reclaimed, the company said.
The total detailed estimate of the company’s share of the project cost is $35.2m, comprising about $19.9m for transmission line work, including right of way (ROW) acquisition; about $14.1m for the company’s share of the new Kewanee 138-kV substation; $0.7m for the retirement of the Fords Branch 46-kV substation; and $0.5m for the Cedar Creek 138-kV substation upgrade, the company said.
The company noted in its statement that if the project is approved, construction is expected to start in fall 2021, and conclude by the end of 2023.
OR Colan Utility & Infrastructure Land Services, LLC (ORC), which serves as the ROW contractor representing Kentucky Power on the project, will contact directly involved landowners in the coming months to discuss next steps, the company said.