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Fortnightly Magazine - November 2012

operation, with the goal of extracting greater performance. The project uses a new off-gas sensing technique to improve safety, along with life prediction models for commercial application. The project also aims to demonstrate second-life batteries in an energy storage application.

Transmission

American Electric Power selected Quanta Services to rebuild 66 miles of its 345-kV power line near Corpus Christi, Texas. Quanta will perform the work with the line in an energized state, using proprietary processes and equipment to avoid service outages to AEP’s customers during construction. Quanta says the project represents the longest span of transmission line in the U.S. to be rebuilt while remaining in an energized state. Pre-construction activities have begun and construction is expected to start in the fourth quarter 2012 and ramp up during 2013. Scheduled for completion in March 2016, the project is the first of five phases of energized transmission upgrades planned in the area by AEP.

 

PECO completed its annual inspection of more than 1,800 circuits and more than 10,000 miles of aerial electric lines across its service territory as part of the company’s maintenance and reliability improvement program. PECO invested about $600,000 to perform the inspections. The program includes a visual examination of PECO’s aerial electric system for issues such as damaged equipment and sagging lines. Infrared cameras also are used to identify potential equipment problems before they occur by recording temperature variations within a piece of equipment while it’s in operation. Equipment and lines in need of repair are reported throughout the inspection process and prioritized for repair based on the severity of the issue.

Iberdrola USA awarded a contract to Burns & McDonnell to conduct a six-month on-site facility review of critical electrical transmission and distribution infrastructure. The review will include an update of existing policies and procedures for critical infrastructure protection (CIP) in compliance with North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) requirements. Iberdrola also contracted Burns & McDonnell to develop uniform operational standards, policies, and procedures that will apply to current work activities across all of Iberdrola USA’s operational and management companies.

Gas Pipelines

Columbia Gas Transmission, a unit of NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage, reached a customer settlement that allows Columbia to modernize its gas pipeline infrastructure during the next five years, with provisions for potential extensions thereafter. The settlement filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) includes a base rate reduction for customers and an investment recovery agreement. Columbia hopes the settlement will be approved before the end of 2012.

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