T&D World Magazine

Utility Upgrades Transmission Lines with 3M ACCR to Avoid Wetlands Tower Construction

Georgia Power has chosen the low-sag 3M ACCR overhead conductor to double transmission capacity on a set of lines that cross extensive wetlands near Savannah, Georgia, U.S. The upgrade reduces the need for larger towers or a wider right-of-way, thus avoiding a range of potential challenges, including construction on environmentally sensitive land.

The upgrade is on a 16.7-mile (26.8-km) line linking the Kraft generating plant in Savannah with its McIntosh plant north of the city. The project resolves potential capacity issues by approximately doubling the 230-kV double circuits' line capacity, replacing a conventional steel core conductor with a 3M ACCR 1622 kcmil conductor that is light enough to be accommodated mostly by the existing infrastructure.

After studying several options and considering the capacity increases achievable, the costs of structures, construction and permitting, and conductor costs, Georgia Power chose ACCR as the most cost-effective option.

Bob Beck, Southern Company Services senior transmission planner, cited three issues that confronted the upgrade project: right-of-way expansion was not feasible, wet terrain made tower construction very expensive and environmentally problematic, and construction outages were limited to light-load periods. “3M ACCR enabled us to use mostly existing towers and to reconductor with minimal disturbance to the land and no service interruption,” said Beck.

In 2013, the company is completing a similar project with 3M ACCR to further enhance area reliability.

For more information, visit www.3M.com/accr.

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