In an effort to improve electric reliability for the southwestern Indiana and western Kentucky regions, Vectren Energy Delivery submitted a pre-filing notice to the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) State Siting Board June 3 to move forward with phase two of a new electric transmission line. The line will ultimately connect three regional generation facilities, including Duke Energy’s Gibson Station located in Gibson County, Ind., Vectren’s A.B. Brown plant in Posey County, Ind., and the Big Rivers Electric Corporation’s Reid Station in Webster County, Ky.
Phase one of the project, which connects the Gibson Station and A.B. Brown plants in Indiana through roughly 37 mi of 345-kV line, has been in progress since fall 2009 and is expected to be completed by December 2010. The June regulatory filing initiates phase two, which includes an approximate 25-mi connection, 13 mil of which are in Kentucky, between the Vectren and Big Rivers plants. Phase two is expected to be complete by summer 2012.
“The project is needed to reduce power flow congestion all along its path, including those electric customers of Western Kentucky,” said Bill Doty, Vectren’s executive vice president of utility operations. “Essentially, this project creates a robust route whereby electricity can readily travel throughout the region to help ensure reliability.”
To facilitate the Kentucky portion of the project, Vectren recently entered into a collaborative agreement with Big Rivers. Presently, the tentative Kentucky route will be west of the city of Henderson in the county near the area of the Henderson Detention Center and run mainly on existing right-of-way with existing transmission lines predominantly in rural areas to the Reid Station.
Kentucky customers/ratepayers will not pay for any portion of the project’s cost, however.
Vectren expects to file a formal application with the Kentucky PSC Siting Board in July and then identify potentially affected property owners in a detailed route. Vectren and Big Rivers will be communicating with potentially affected Kentucky property owners in an informational public meeting tentatively scheduled for July 6 or 7.