STO’s transmission line planning expert discounted SWEPCO’s initial claim of a public need for its project. This finding was subsequently confirmed by SWEPCO’s expert witness during cross-examination.
This same expert witness for SWEPCO came forward with a new list of predicted reliability problems as the basis for SWEPCO’s claim of a public need for its project.
Many of these newly predicted problems do not prove a public need for SWEPCO’s project because they do not meet transmission planning standards established by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). These new problems were predicted to occur under conditions that are far more extreme than the conditions called for in the NERC standards as well as the standards followed by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) for transmission planning.
The remaining newly-introduced reliability problems that comply with NERC and SPP planning standards were predicted to occur on transmission lines owned by Entergy Arkansas and managed by Mid-Continent Systems Operator (MISO).
Officials with both Entergy Arkansas and MISO deny that SWEPCO’s project is needed to resolve reliability problems on Entergy’s transmission lines. In a letter of Aug. 5, 2013, Jeffrey Webb, director of expansion planning for MISO, noted that SWEPCO’s project was not “for the purposes of meeting applicable reliability standards on the Entergy system.” This was corroborated by Melinda Montgomery, manager of transmission planning for Entergy Arkansas, in oral testimony at the Arkansas Public Service Commission hearing.
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