The project, the OPSB added in its June 5 statement, includes the construction of a new 138-kV substation near the intersection of county roads 17 and 15, southeast of Smithfield, Ohio.
The purpose of the project is to avoid potential operating limitations in the AEP electric grid in eastern Ohio, including the communities of Cadiz, Carrollton and Brilliant. The OPSB also said that construction is subject to 15 conditions outlined in its opinion, order and certificate.
According to the opinion, order and certificate, the project would improve system reliability by sectionalizing the Carrolltown–Cadiz–Tidd 138-kV transmission line. According to the company, the 50-mile line has no fault interrupting devices and the loss of the line could severely affect the system’s ability to serve load in the area. According to the company, the new station would improve and maintain the quality of electric service and reliability in the load area, particularly the communities of Cadiz, Carrollton and Brilliant.
OPSB staff recommended that the OPSB find that the basis of need for the Gable substation project has been demonstrated and, therefore, complies with certain requirements, provided that any certificate issued by the OPSB include the conditions specified in a staff report.
Staff also recommended the selection of the preferred substation site because of its accessibility, because the company already owns the parcel, and because two of the three interconnections allow the company to interconnect in a direction away from local residences.
The OPSB further noted that staff recommended that the OPSB find that the proposed facility would serve the public interest, convenience and necessity.
The OPSB said that it approves and adopts a stipulation submitted in April by the company and staff.
As TransmissionHub reported, as part of the stipulation, the company has made commitments to comply with requests from the public input and OPSB staff conditions to minimize adverse impacts associated with the project.
The company and staff said that they recommend that the OPSB issue a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for construction and operation of the project at the preferred site, subject to the conditions described in the joint stipulation.
The recommended conditions include that before construction begins, the company is to conduct a Phase I archaeological survey and an assessment of potential impacts to historical and architectural resources at the alternate site if that site is certificated by the OPSB.
The OPSB said in its order that it acknowledges that new projects such as the Gable substation will always have an effect on nearby properties and residents. The OPSB also said that it notes that the conditions in the stipulation require the company to continue to work with staff and adjacent property owners to minimize any negative impacts that the project may have.
In addition, the OPSB said that it finds that, while the stipulation provides that the certificate will become invalid if the company has not begun a continuous course of construction within five years, the evidence of record reflects the need for the facility to ensure that the level of the company’s transmission system will be adequate to provide the level of service customers expect.
“In light of this, it is the board's expectation that AEP Transco will proceed with this project within a reasonable time frame in order to ensure the continuation of adequate service to customers,” the OPSB said. “Therefore, the board approves and adopts the stipulation and hereby issues a certificate to AEP Transco for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed Gable substation, at the preferred site, as described in the application and subject to the 15 conditions set forth in the stipulation and this opinion, order, and certificate.”