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Monthly Project Review March 2017

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More than $1.1bn worth of new projects were announced in March, according to TransmissionHub data, with six new projects announced last month, including four by American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP).

The first AEP announcement involved the new the Rouse to Bell Ridge project, which involves a new 13-mile, 138-kV transmission line to enhance reliability near Marietta, Ohio, and the surrounding area. The project is part of the greater Southeast Ohio Area Improvements Project, and is expected to be completed by 2021, at cost of $30m.

The second AEP project announced was the Bell Ridge to Devola project, which involves a new 11-mile, 138-kV transmission line to improve reliability in Washington County, Ohio. The project is part of the greater Southeast Ohio Area Improvements Project, and is expected to be completed by 2021.

The third AEP project announced was the Moundsville Area Transmission Rebuild Project, which involves replacing an existing 11-mile, 69-kV line as well as multiple substation upgrades. The project has an estimated cost of $50m, and is being proposed to ensure reliability near Glen Dale, W.Va. AEP expects to complete the rebuild by summer 2019.

Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), an AEP company, has plans for the new Greenland-Van Buren Transmission Line Rebuild Project, which involves upgrading 42 miles of existing 69-kV transmission line to improve grid reliability in Washington and Crawford counties, Ark. The original line was built nearly 80 years ago, and is in need of replacement. SWEPCO expects to complete the project by late 2018, at a cost of $40m.

National Grid (NYSE:NGG) has plans for the new Granite State Power Link, which involves a new 170-mile HVDC transmission line from Quebec to a new substation in Londonderry County, Vt., to bring up to 1,200 MW of clean energy to the New England power grid. The project will be mostly built within adjacent or existing right of way, and will maximize the existing infrastructure. The project has an estimated cost of nearly $1bn, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative (RCEC) in March submitted to Texas regulators an application regarding the new Dent Road Expansion to Wieland Switch 138-kV Transmission Line project, which involves a new 6.85-mile to 10.9-mile line from the existing Dent Road substation to a proposed Wieland switching station. The project is being built to improve reliability in Wieland, Texas. RCEC expects to complete the line in 2019, at a cost of approximately $6.6m.

FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) in March said that it has energized its $7m Mohican to Coulter Rebuild Project, which involved rebuilding nearly seven miles of existing 69-kV transmission line in Ashland, Ohio. The project is part of FirstEnergy's "Energizing the Future" initiative, which seeks to modernize the local power grid.

Multiple projects saw changes in March. For example, American Transmission Systems Inc., a subsidiary of FirstEnergy, received approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board for amendments to its Hayes to West Fremont project. The project involves a new 30-mile, 138-kV line that will originate at the new Hayes substation in Erie County, Ohio, and terminate at the existing West Fremont substation in Sandusky County, Ohio. Construction is expected to begin mid-2017, and the project is planned to be in service by September 2018.

Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) received approval by the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board for its planned Mystic to Woburn Transmission Project, which involves an underground 115-kV transmission line. The project will travel approximately 7.7 miles between the existing Mystic and Woburn substations. The project also includes the installation of a new 115-kV series reactor at the Woburn substation to balance power flows between the existing and new line, as well as modifications to the 211-514 Line termination connections at the Mystic substation. The project has an expected completion date of late 2018.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce Energy Environmental Review and Analysis (EERA) staff on March 22 recommended that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission grant an HVTL route permit to Minnkota Power Cooperative for the MPL-Laporte 115-kV project as proposed (yellow route).

The $10m project involves building a new 9.4-mile line to serve an industrial load for a new pumping station from Minnesota Pipeline Company, LLC.

Dominion Virginia Power, subsidiary of Dominion (NYSE:D), was given authorization by the Virginia State Corporation Commission to go forward with its planned Carson to Rogers Rebuild. The rebuild involves replacing the existing 500-kV Carson–Rogers Road Line #585 from Structure #3, outside of the Carson switching station, to Structure #142, located at a point north of the junction of Line #585 and Line #570 (Rogers Road Terminus), about 0.9 mile northwest of the company’s approved Rogers Road switching station. The project has an estimated cost of $52.9m, and an estimated completion date of late 2018.

Indiana Michigan Power, subsidiary of AEP, selected the final route for its planned Gravel Pit Project, which involves two new 138-kV transmission lines, totaling about six miles, that will connect the expanded Gravel Pit substation to the existing Jackson Road-New Carlisle line. The project has an estimated cost of $20m, and is being built to improve reliability in the region.

Entergy Louisiana Inc., subsidiary of Entergy (NYSE:ETR), broke ground on its SELA Project Phase 3, Oakville-Alliance 230-kV Transmission Line project, which involves a new 10.5-mile transmission line to improve reliability south of New Orleans, La. The $60m project is expected to be completed by 2018.

Finally, Umatilla Electric Cooperative received approval by the Public Utility Commission of Oregon for its planned McNary to Hermiston Butte project, which involves a new five-mile, 115-kV transmission line to replace aging infrastructure. The project has an estimated cost of $5.74m, and is expected to be completed by late 2017.

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