Monthly Project Review April 2021

Transmission projects covered in April include AEP Texas Inc.’s Angstrom to Grissom Double-Circuit 345-kV Transmission Line in Texas and UNS Electric, Inc.’s Golden Valley 230-kV Transmission Line Project in Arizona

TransmissionHub presents a roundup of most of the transmission project news that occurred in April, including PSEG Long Island LLC telling New York State regulators that the Riverhead to Canal Second 138-kV Underground Cable Project was placed in service on April 28.

South/Midwest

Starting in the South, according to a proposed order filed on April 6 with the Public Utility Commission of Texas by the Office of Policy & Docket Management (OPDM), the commission “approves either route 69 or 69A” for the proposed Bearkat Switching Station-to-Longhorn Switching Station 345-kV Transmission Line in Glasscock and Howard counties. As noted in the proposed order, Wind Energy Transmission Texas, LLC (WETT) and Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC in January 2020 filed a joint application to amend their certificates of convenience and necessity (CCNs) to build, own, and operate separate portions of the line, which would connect WETT’s existing Bearkat switching station in Glasscock County to Oncor’s existing Longshore switching station in Howard County. The line is needed to address transmission congestion that results in restriction on wind generation in the Bearkat area, the proposed order noted. The estimated cost to build route 69 is about $62.7m, including station costs, while the estimated cost to build route 69A is about $64.7m, including station costs, the proposed order added.

On April 16, American Electric Power’s (AEP) AEP Texas Inc., on April 16 filed with the Texas commission an application to amend its CCN for the Angstrom to Grissom Double-Circuit 345-kV Transmission Line in Bee, Refugio, and San Patricio counties in Texas. The company said that it is proposing to build a new double-circuit-capable line with one circuit installed initially, with the project beginning at the existing AEP Texas Angstrom station, located about four miles east of the City of Sinton and about 0.5 mile north of State Highway 188 in San Patricio County. The project would extend to the existing AEP Texas Grissom station located about eight miles southeast of the community of Skidmore, Texas, and about 5.5 miles east of U.S. Highway 181 in Bee County. The number of miles of circuit installed initially ranges from 17.13 to 24.19 miles, the company added, noting that the number of miles of circuit would ultimately range from 34.26 to 48.38 miles. According to the estimated schedule, construction of the facilities would begin in July 2022 and be completed in December 2023, which is also when the facilities would be energized.

In an April 23 proposal for decision, Texas administrative law judges (ALJs) recommended state regulatory approval of the 4.20-mile “Route West C” for Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative’s proposed New Hope 138-kV Transmission Line in Collin County, Texas. As noted in the proposal for decision, Rayburn in May 2020 filed an application with the Texas commission to amend its CCN to build the line, which is designed for single-circuit structures and would connect a proposed New Hope substation, located northwest of the New Hope community, to one of three proposed “tap points.” Tap Points A and B are located on an Oncor transmission line, the ALJs added, noting that Tap Point C is located on a Texas-New Mexico Power Company (TNMP) transmission line. Route West C traverses the western portion of the study area; has the second fewest number of habitable structures within 300 feet of the centerline of the proposed route; is the second least expensive route; parallels the greatest amount of right of way (ROW) of water pipelines; and uses a 100-year floodplain for more than 48% of the route. The ALJs noted that the cost of Route West C — including the transmission line, the tap point, and the New Hope substation — is about $17.5m.

In other Texas news, TNMP, Texas commission staff, as well as Marathon Petroleum Company LP and Blanchard Refining Company LLC d/b/a Galveston Bay Refinery (Marathon Petroleum) on April 28 filed with the Texas commission a unanimous stipulation calling for the approval of a proposed 138-kV transmission line. As noted in the filing, TNMP in September 2020 filed with the commission an application for a CCN for the Greenbelt-Cattail-Cherokee 138-kV Transmission Line in Galveston County, Texas. The line would connect the existing Greenbelt substation to the proposed Cattail substation, and then the proposed Cattail substation to the existing Cherokee substation. The stipulation also noted that the signatories agree that the commission should approve Alternative Transmission Line Routes GC-7 — which is about 2.19 miles long — and CC-2 — which is about 1.58 miles long — as the routes that best meet certain requirements. The stipulation noted that the project’s total cost using Routes GC-7 and CC-2, including the substation additions and construction, is estimated at about $29.2m.

Moving to Ohio, American Transmission Systems, Inc., (ATSI), on April 16 filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board an application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the Lincoln Park-Riverbend 138-kV Transmission Line Project. As noted in the filing, the new line would run through the cities of Campbell and Youngstown in Mahoning County, Ohio, connecting the Lincoln Park substation to the Riverbend substation. The project would begin at the existing Lincoln Park substation and trend southwest for about two miles, and then west for about three miles, to the Riverbend substation. The company noted that the project’s preferred route, “Route 44,” is about 5.21 miles long. The estimated applicable intangible and capital costs of the preferred route total about $23.1m, the company said. The company said that the purpose of the project is to, for instance, improve the reliability of the transmission and sub-transmission systems in the Youngstown and surrounding areas by strengthening the transmission system under various planning contingencies. The filing noted that project construction is anticipated to begin in November 2022, and the project has an anticipated in-service date of December 2023.

Moving to North Dakota, Montana-Dakota Utilities in April filed with the state Public Service Commission a consolidated corridor certificate and route permit for the Mandan Transmission Reroute Project for a 230-kV Transmission Line. As noted in the filing, the project involves rerouting an existing 230-kV transmission line for a new substation and terminating at a new line terminal in the Mandan transmission substation north of Mandan, N.D.; the project was identified in the company’s 10-year plan submitted in July 2020. The 230-kV transmission line currently terminates in the Heskett transmission substation and connects the Heskett and Mandan transmission system with the company’s transmission system near Napoleon, N.D. The company added that the Mandan transmission substation was built in 2010, and included plans to ultimately relocate all 230-kV facilities from Heskett to the new substation. With the closures of the Heskett coal-fired generating units 1 and 2, a new 115/69/41.6-kV substation on the Heskett transmission substation site was required and moved forward those plans, the company said. The project is expected to begin this spring, as well as be completed, tested, and placed in service in spring 2022. The estimated total cost of the project is about $1.2m, which includes engineering, materials, and construction costs, the company said.

In Minnesota, Northern States Power Company d/b/a Xcel Energy on April 20 filed with the state Public Utilities Commission an application for a site permit for the up to 460-MW Sherco Solar Project in Sherburne County, as well as for route permits for two 345-kV transmission lines to interconnect the solar project to the grid. As noted in the filing, the West high-voltage transmission line (HVTL) is about 3.2 miles long (West HVTL Project), and the East HVTL line is about 1.7 miles long (East HVTL Project). Both lines would connect the solar project to the existing Sherburne County substation immediately south of the Xcel Sherburne County generating facility. The company added that the solar project would partially replace energy production of the nearly 700-MW Sherco Generating Plant Unit 2, currently a coal-powered facility, which will cease operations in 2023. Xcel said that the project is being developed to facilitate an in-service date of all components of the project by 4Q24. The company noted that it reserves the ability to begin commercial operations for portions of the project via a phased approach starting in 2023 to accommodate an in-service date for the entire project by 4Q24.

Moving to Wisconsin, American Transmission Company (ATC) on April 22 told state regulators that while the rebuild of the Boscobel to Lone Rock (Line Y124) line is substantially complete, a 1.7-mile segment of Y124 remains to be built in coordination with Muscoda Utilities’ expansion of its industrial substation. The Muscoda project schedule remains uncertain pending Muscoda Utilities obtaining required regulatory approvals, but it is anticipated that the work will be completed in 4Q21, ATC told the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in its quarterly progress report for the period Jan. 1 through March 31. ATC said that actual project costs through March 31 totaled about $33m, and that the approved total project cost is about $32.4m.

In other ATC news, the company on April 27 told the Wisconsin commission that the total cost of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project as of March 31 was about $92.5m, noting that the approved total project cost is about $492.2m. As noted in the progress report for the period Jan. 1 through March 31 — which the company and ITC Midwest LLC filed on behalf of themselves as the project’s construction managers and co-permittee, Dairyland Power Cooperative — ATC is managing the construction of the Hill Valley substation and the transmission line between the Hill Valley and Cardinal substations. Construction segments are designated E-1, Hill Valley Substation to Dodgeville; E-2, Dodgeville to Mt. Horeb; and E-3, Mt. Horeb to the Cardinal substation. ITC Midwest is managing the transmission line construction between the Hickory Creek substation in Iowa and the Hill Valley substation. ATC added that construction segments in Wisconsin are designated W-1, Nelson Dewey to Lancaster, and W-2, Lancaster to the Hill Valley Substation. ATC said, for instance, that it expects to begin construction of the Hill Valley substation in 4Q21, and that it expects to begin construction of substation upgrades at the Nelson Dewey substation in 4Q21.

Heading to Arkansas, state Public Service Commission staff on April 30 recommended that the commission grant Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) a certificate of public convenience and necessity to build, own, and operate certain transmission facilities in Pulaski and Lonoke counties. As noted in staff’s filing, AECC in March filed an application for a CCN to build, own, and operate a transmission line that is part of a four-phased project to replace and upgrade 69-kV radial transmission lines owned by First Electric Cooperative Corporation (FECC) with 115-kV transmission looped service owned by AECC. As AECC noted, the subject of the application is the third phase of the four-phase long-range plan to build a 115-kV transmission loop extending from AECC’s Cato switching station to AECC’s Ward auto and switching station. According to AECC’s application, staff said, the desired in-service date for the estimated $9.5m line is Dec. 1, 2022.

East/Mid-Atlantic

Moving to New York, South Fork Wind, LLC on April 8 told the New York State Public Service Commission that it accepts — and will comply with — the commission-issued certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for a transmission project related to Deepwater Wind South Fork, LLC’s (South Fork Wind) proposed South Fork Wind Farm. As noted in the commission’s March 18 order adopting a joint proposal in the matter, South Fork Wind in September 2018 filed an application for a certificate under Public Service Law Article VII for authority to build and operate an approximately 3.5-mile submarine export cable from the New York State Territorial Waters boundary to the south shore of the Town of East Hampton in Suffolk County, as well as about 4.1 miles of 138-kV terrestrial export cable from the south shore of the Town of East Hampton to an interconnection facility with an interconnection cable connecting to an existing East Hampton substation. The project will connect the proposed South Fork Wind Farm, located in federal jurisdictional waters on the Outer Continental Shelf to the existing mainland electric grid, the commission said. The record in the case fully supports a finding of public need, the commission said, adding that it determines that the facility is necessary to deliver power from the South Fork Offshore Wind Generation facility to the East Hampton substation. The commission said that it grants a conditional certificate and adopts the joint proposal with the exception of some terms that are self-executing agreements governing the relationships among the parties and unnecessary to the commission’s review.

On April 27, the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) told New York Transco LLC that it is authorized to begin construction activities required for Phase II Section 1 of the Knickerbocker to Pleasant Valley, New York Energy Solution (NYES) Project. The DPS noted that the New York commission on April 16 approved the Environmental Management and Construction Plan (EM&CP) submitted by NY Transco for Phase II Section 1. NY Transco is authorized to proceed with construction limited to upland areas of the Knickerbocker to Churchtown portion of the project, otherwise known as the Phase II Section 1 or Phase II(a) Facility, the DPS said. As noted in the commission’s April 16 order, the commission in February issued a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need to NY Transco, authorizing the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Knickerbocker to Pleasant Valley, NYES Project, which includes the construction of a new 54.5-mile, double-circuit, 345-kV electric transmission line to be co-located with existing 115-kV electric transmission lines between the new 345-kV Knickerbocker switching station in Schodack, Rensselaer County.

In other New York news, PSEG Long Island LLC, on behalf of and as agent for the Long Island Lighting Company d/b/a LIPA, in an April 29 filing submitted to the state commission, gave notice that the Riverhead to Canal Second 138-kV Underground Cable Project was placed in service on April 28. According to the project’s website, construction crews are now completing the final portions of the project within the greater project area. Current activities include the restoration of access ways along Sunrise Highway and the various neighborhoods in Hampton Bays, as well as plantings and seeding, the website noted, adding that restoration work is anticipated to be completed by June. As TransmissionHub reported, the DPS in May 2020 noted that the commission on April 24, 2020, approved the EM&CP submitted by PSEG Long Island on behalf of, and as agent for, LIPA (PSEG LI) for the project. As noted in that April 24 commission order, the commission in December 2009 granted a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need under Article VII of the Public Service Law to PSEG Long Island, on behalf of, and as agent for, LIPA (PSEG LI), authorizing the construction, operation, and maintenance of a second 138-kV alternating current transmission facility underground in an existing second conduit adjacent to an existing transmission line running for about 16 miles between the Riverhead substation in Riverside and the Canal substation in Southampton in Suffolk County, N.Y.

Moving to Maryland, a virtual public hearing to provide information about Baltimore Gas and Electric’s (BGE) proposed Five Forks to Windy Edge Transmission Line Reliability Project will be held at 6:30 p.m. on May 20, according to an April 8 notice from a state Public Service Commission public utility law judge. As noted in the filing, Exelon’s BGE in mid-January filed with the commission an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) for authority to build the project, which would consist of replacing the existing double-circuit, 115-kV, overhead transmission line and its associated lattice structures with a new line mounted on weathering steel poles. That approximately 20-mile segment, located in the northeastern section of BGE’s Maryland electric distribution service territory, runs from the company’s Five Forks substation, located in northern Harford County, Md., to the vicinity of BGE’s Windy Edge substation, located in northern Baltimore County, Md., according to the filing. The company said that the project’s capital cost is estimated to be about $116.7m, and that the project has a target in-service date of Dec. 31, 2025, for the new double-circuit steel monopole line, with site stabilization expected to be complete in early spring 2026.

In Virginia, a senior hearing examiner, Michael Thomas, in an April 15 report, recommended that the State Corporation Commission issue a CPCN to Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion Energy Virginia, for an underground pilot project. As noted in the filing, Dominion Energy Virginia in September 2020 filed with the commission an application seeking approval to, for instance, remove an approximately 0.56-mile segment of its existing overhead 230-kV Reston-Tysons Line #2010 from the Tysons substation to just south of the site for the future Spring Hill substation and to relocate and replace the line underground. The company said that the project is necessary to support Virginia’s economic development priorities, including the economic development priorities and the Comprehensive Plan of Fairfax County, Va. As noted in the filing, the company stated that the desired in-service date for the project is Dec. 31, 2025, and that the project’s estimated conceptual cost (in 2020 dollars) is about $30.4m.

In other Dominion news, the company on April 27 filed with the Virginia commission an application for certification of the Elmont-Ladysmith 500-kV Transmission Line #574 Rebuild Project. The company said that in order to maintain the structural integrity and reliability of its transmission system in compliance with mandatory NERC reliability standards, it proposes to rebuild the existing Line #574, as well as perform related projects in an existing 26.2-mile transmission corridor between the Elmont switching station and Ladysmith switching station, located in the counties of Hanover and Caroline in Virginia. The company said that the project includes rebuilding about 26.2 miles of 500-kV Line #574 on single-circuit steel structures between the Elmont switching station and Ladysmith switching station with dulled galvanized steel structures that can support a 500-kV circuit with an underbuild that permits a future 230-kV circuit. The company noted that the desired in-service target date for the Line #574 Rebuild Project is Dec. 31, 2025. Should the commission issue a final order approving the project by Sept. 30, 2022, the company estimates that construction should begin by Jan. 3, 2023, and be completed by Dec. 31, 2025. The company noted that the estimated conceptual cost of the rebuild project is about $92.2m (2021 dollars).

Also in Virginia, Appalachian Power Company on April 30 filed with the state commission an application for approval of its proposed Reusens to New London 138-kV Rebuild Project, which includes rebuilding, almost entirely within existing ROW, an 11.6-mile section of the Reusens-Altavista 138-kV transmission line asset from the Reusens substation to the New London substation, of which about 5.5 miles consist of double-circuit, 138-kV construction, and about 6.1 miles consist of single-circuit, 138-kV construction. The project would rebuild the existing 138-kV transmission line, which is more than 70 years old and must be rebuilt, in part, due to the combination of risk, condition, and performance of the infrastructure, the company added. The estimated conceptual cost of the project is about $39.8m, the company said. The project’s proposed in-service date is Dec. 15, 2023, Appalachian Power said.

West

Moving to the West, the Utilities Division staff on April 14 told the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee that the proposed Golden Valley 230-kV Transmission Line Project could improve the reliability and the safety of the grid, as well as the delivery of power in Arizona. As noted in the filing, UNS Electric, Inc.’s (UNSE) in March filed an application for the issuance of a CEC for its proposed project, which would consist of a new 230-kV transmission line of about 17 miles in length, located in Mohave County, near Kingman and Golden Valley in Arizona. While all portions of the line would be designed to accommodate double-circuit 230-kV transmission, portions would be built as either single-circuit 230-kV transmission, double-circuit 230-kV transmission, or double-circuit, 230/69-kV transmission. Staff added that there is an existing 69-kV line in the area where the project is planned to be located. In those areas where the structures are built as double-circuit 230/69 kV, the existing 69-kV line would be removed or topped to allow for existing distribution and/or communication facilities to remain in place.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3266 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 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 clinares@endeavorb2b.com.