Mississippi Power Company (MPC) on June 2 filed with the Mississippi Public Service Commission a petition for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to rebuild and reconductor 17.8 miles of MPC’s existing Lucedale-Vestry 115-kV section of transmission line from 397.5 ACSR to 1033.5 ACSR (251 MVA/1259 amps).
As noted in the filing, during its routine planning activities, the company identified the approximately 17.8-mile project necessary to maintain and enhance reliability performance of MPC’s transmission facilities, as well as maintain compliance with NERC standards. That section of line was initially identified during MPC’s pole inspection program done in late 2019 due to the need to replace a large quantity of wood poles along that section of line. MPC added that in addition to the pole replacements, the need to increase the capacity of that section of line was identified based on the results of MPC’s 2021 transmission planning analysis.
MPC further noted that as part of its Transmission Wood Pole Inspection, Treatment, & Replacement Program, it identified 71 wood poles that are in need of replacement on MPC’s Lucedale-Vestry section of the Lucedale-Watson 115-kV transmission line due to decay or insufficient sound wood.
The identified pole replacements must be done as soon as possible given the condition of the poles in order to avoid any pole failures, which could result in damage to the existing transmission facilities, as well as prolonged unplanned outages to the transmission line and customers served by the line.
MPC added that in an effort to reduce the overall risk to the transmission system resulting from multiple outages in different years on the Lucedale-Watson line, the company is proposing to take advantage of the mobilization associated with the pole replacement project and the outage required for such pole replacement by advancing the reconductoring project identified in the transmission planning analysis and bundling it with the pole replacement project.
MPC added that the total estimated cost to build the facilities is $18.2m, with $2.5m estimated to be spent in 2021, and the remaining $15.7m to be spent in 2022.
Among other things, the company said that the project is scheduled to begin this year, subject to and following commission approval, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2022.