Palouse 230 kV Transmission Line Project.
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Complete Route Selection Process........ January 2004
Land Acquisition ..............................................2004
Begin Construction ......................................... 2005
Project Energized ............................. December 2006
This project connects Avista’s existing Shawnee and Benewah substations with a 230 kV transmission line.
Overall Transmission upgrades
In order to meet the growing regional demand for electric power, Avista Utilities is building new infrastructure that will improve the distribution of electricity to meet existing and future power needs of the region.
The entire region will benefit greatly from these projects. The projects will relieve current congestion in the area and improve reliability, which reduces the amount of time consumers wait for power restoration during an outage. It will also provide capacity to meet future growth needs in the region.
Avista’s transmission upgrades will take place between 2003 and 2006 and represent over $100 million in infrastructure investment. There are five major projects associated with the overall transmission system upgrade. The Palouse Upgrade Project is one of those five projects.
The Palouse Upgrade Project
The Palouse Upgrade Project will create a 230 kV transmission corridor between Avista’s existing Shawnee and Benewah substations. Click here to see the Project area map.
Phase One will upgrade and increase the capacity of the existing 50-year-old, 35-mile transmission line between Avista’s Shawnee and Rosalia substations. In addition, all wood poles will be replaced with stronger steel poles. Planning is underway now to ensure there will be no service disruptions and minimal inconvenience to farm operators and property owners during this project. Construction of this transmission line is scheduled to begin in 2005.
Phase Two will build an east-west link between the Shawnee-Rosalia line and the parallel Benewah-Moscow line. Connecting these two lines will help ensure electric transmission reliability, and the additional connection will serve as a backup between the Benewah and Shawnee substations.
Over the past several months, Avista held a series of four public workshops to gather community input into the siting of the new transmission line. Five alternate routes for the new transmission corridor for the east-to-west link were carefully evaluated.
The planning and discussions were centered on the five key criteria Avista applies to transmission line projects. These criteria are to ensure the project benefits both system reliability and customer needs; use existing transmission corridors and line combinations whenever practical; ensure the cost of the project does not outweigh customer benefits; minimize impacts to farming and other landowner property uses; and avoid, when possible, routes next to towns, housing, schools and airports.
The majority of the five routes evaluated did not meet these five key criteria. One route was rejected because it would have been too close to the community of Waverly. Another route was rejected because it would not have met the reliability standards established by the North American Electric Reliability Council and Western Electricity Coordinating Council.
The New East-West Transmission Corridor
After reviewing all of the options, as well as considering community input and project criteria, Avista has identified the area for the proposed east-west corridor. To connect the Shawnee-Rosalia and the Benewah-Moscow parallel lines, Avista is planning to:
rebuild the existing transmission line from the Benewah Substation west and south along 11 miles of existing115 kV transmission line to the Spokane and Whitman counties’ border; and
build a new transmission line for approximately 14 miles along the Spokane/Whitman County boundary to the intersection of the Shawnee-Rosalia line.
Click here to see the Corridor Map
During the first part of 2004, Avista will meet with landowners along this east-west line corridor.
Avista has easements for 75 percent of the overall 60-mile line. Avista must obtain easement rights to construct along the Spokane/Whitman county line and will negotiate directly with property owners.
Every property owner along the chosen route will be contacted regarding the proposal and its possible impacts upon that owner’s individual parcel. Avista’s right-of-way agents will negotiate personally with each property owner regarding compensation, mitigation, construction access and terms of proposed easements.
In preparation for those negotiations, the right-of-way agents are responsible for verifying legal descriptions, values and property rights through extensive research by the agent and other professional entities.
Questions or Information, Contact:
Deb Mortlock, Project Coordinator, (509) 495-8577
Dave James, Project Manager, (509) 495-4185
Avista Media Line, (509) 495-4174