To approve SWEPCO’s project, the Arkansas Public Service Commission is required by state law to determine that the project meets a public need.
SWEPCO claimed that substantial growth in the region created a public need for adding transmission capacity to improve reliability, specifically in Carroll County, Arkansas.
SWEPCO’s claims regarding substantial growth and the accompanying need for increased transmission capacity are not supported by US Census data, and the claim of a need to improve reliability is not supported by data provided by the region’s primary provider of retail electricity.
In June of 2013, Save the Ozarks expert witness, Dr. Hyde Merrill and Lanny Nickell, expert witness for the Southwest Power Pool, independently re-evaluated the only contingency (the loss or failure of a small part of the power system) that is cited in SWEPCO’s application as violating NERC criteria and the sole basis for the need for the facilities. Dr. Merrill and Mr. Nickell concur that the contingency will not cause a violation in 2016. No studies carried out since 2006-2007 and presented in the APSC proceeding show that it will ever cause a violation.
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