South Field Energy to hold meeting on power plant, transmission line

A local public hearing is to be held on June 6 in Wellsville, Ohio, regarding South Field Energy‘s proposed 1,100 MW combined-cycle dual fuel electric generating facility and 345-kV transmission line, an administrative law judge told the Ohio Power Siting Board.

As noted by the judge’s March 29 entry, SFE in January filed an application with the OPSB seeking approval for the construction of the generating facility, which would be primarily powered by natural gas, with the capability to use ultra-low sulfur distillate as back-up. The facility would be located in Columbiana County, Ohio, and generate electricity for delivery and sale on the interstate transmission grid.

In conjunction with the generation facility, SFE filed an application to build a 345-kV transmission line and an associated switching station. The purpose of the about three-mile line, which would be located in Columbiana County, will be to connect the generation facility to an existing circuit, the judge added.

With its application in the generating facility case, SFE filed a motion for waiver of four requirements, including a waiver from the requirement to provide an extensive site selection study. SFE said that it conducted a selection process examining Columbiana and other counties and that once it identified Columbiana County as the preferred region, it used quantitative and qualitative factors to identify the preferred site.

However, SFE did not do a formal evaluation of alternative sites, and contends that it will provide a discussion of its site selection process as well as the criteria it used to identify the preferred site in order to assist the OPSB in its review, the judge added.

The judge concluded that SFE’s request for waiver is reasonable and should be granted, subject to regulatory staff’s reservation of its right to request additional information.

The judge also noted that SFE last month filed a motion to consolidate the generating facility case and the transmission line case. The judge found the request to consolidate the cases reasonable and said it should be granted.

Among other things, the judge said that an evidentiary hearing is to begin on June 21 at the offices of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Staff is to file its report of investigation by May 22, while all testimony to be offered by SFE in the matter is to be filed by June 13. All testimony to be offered by the intervenor(s) and staff is to be filed by June 17, the judge added.

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