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Salt River Project energizes major new transmission line

From the July 8, 2014 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published July 8, 2014

The Salt River Project (SRP) has energized a major new transmission project, the final phase of the Palo Verde-Southeast Valley-Browning (PV-SEV) 500-kilovolt (kV) project. The Phoenix-area utility called the completion of the project a major milestone, as it is the last segment of a new 150-mile transmission line that runs from the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant area near Tonopah to the Browning Substation located in east Mesa, Arizona.

"We are glad that after 14 years this project is in service," said John Underhill, SRP’s senior director of system operations. "The entire East Valley will benefit. This new transmission line, which originates in the West Valley, will now bring that power all the way around to the east. This provides us with another power source into that area," where little or no generation is being built, Underhill said.

The final line segment, which spans 100 miles, is the last component of the PV-SEV 500-kV project that began construction in 2006, after six years of planning and approvals, SRP said.

Prior to the PV-SEV line, SRP depended on a single 500-kV transmission line to bring energy from the Palo Verde energy hub to the East Valley. The project resulted from a study by SRP and other Arizona electric utilities that showed a need for increased transmission capacity to meet increasing energy demands created by business and residential growth in central Arizona and Tucson. The study, which was approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission, concluded that energy deliveries in central Arizona required a new transmission line and other equipment additions, significant upgrades to existing equipment, and that the project overall would increase system reliability, SRP said.
"Years of planning and hard work by many entities, including SRP employees and contract personnel, resulted in a quality project that will serve the needs of the customers for many years to come," said Dan Hawkins, senior project manager of major transmission projects for SRP. 

The project has included the building of five large substations and additions to two existing substations. Also as part of the project, two 500/230-kV transformers at Pinal Central and one 500/230-kV transformer at Duke, located in Pinal County, were energized May 30 and June 12, respectively. 

"The design and building of the 150-mile system is really remarkable," added Underhill. "I received a firsthand aerial view as our staff inspected the line in a helicopter. It’s impressive how we were able to build the line to blend in with the landscape."

Partners in the transmission project include SRP (which served as project manager), Tucson Electric Power Co., Electrical District #2, Electrical District #3, Electrical District #4, the Western Area Power Administration and the Southwest Transmission Cooperative.


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