Putnam and Cumberland Counties, Tennessee
On November 13, 2013, TVA issued a final environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the construction and operation of the Plateau 500-kV Substation and associated transmission line connections. The new substation would be located off Plateau Road in northwest Cumberland County, Tennessee. The approximately 73-acre substation site is adjacent to TVA’s existing Monterey-Peavine 161-kV Transmission Line and TVA’s Roane-Wilson 500-kV Transmission Line. The required connections between the proposed substation and these transmission lines would be on site and are anticipated to be less than 800 feet in length each. About 50 acres of the site would be cleared for construction of the substation, which, once completed, would occupy about 25 acres.
In 2010, TVA identified the need to either construct a new 500-kilovolt (kV) substation and associated transmission lines or to make extensive upgrades to existing 161-kV transmission facilities in the region surrounding Putnam and Cumberland counties in east-central Tennessee. The demand for power is increasing in the project area, and transmission system improvements are necessary by 2019 in order to maintain reliable service. TVA identified four potential alternatives for evaluation: no action; upgrading existing facilities; building a new 500-kV substation and transmission lines in western Cumberland County; and building a new 500-kV substation and transmission lines in Putnam County.
Public involvement in the planning process began in January 2011 with the publication of a Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement or EA and the initiation of the public scoping period. During this period, TVA held a public scoping meeting in Cookeville, Tennessee, on January 20 to describe the proposed project and the environmental review process, answer questions, and solicit comments on the issues of interest to the public. Public comments were invited on both the scope of the project, including alternatives to meet the project need, and environmental issues that should be addressed. The public scoping period closed on February 22, 2011.
Following the public scoping, TVA completed detailed studies for siting the substation and routing the transmission line connections using maps, aerial photography, and other relevant data. Potentially affected landowners were contacted for permission to perform additional field surveys. After evaluating the potential environmental impacts and other important issues identified in the scoping process, as well as engineering and economic considerations, TVA identified the preferred alternative, the construction and operation of a 500-kV substation in Cumberland County. TVA then held an open house on July 28, 2011 in Monterey, Tennessee to discuss the proposed substation project in more detail and gather public input on three potential substation sites. Following additional engineering and environmental studies, TVA identified the site adjacent to Plateau Road as the most feasible location for the substation. The construction and operation of the substation and transmission line on the Plateau Road site is evaluated in the EA.
To facilitate the operation of the new substation and transmission line connections, TVA plans to upgrade communications and replace relay equipment at the Peavine 161-kV Switching Station, as well as the Monterey 161-kV, Wilson 500-kV, and the Roane 500-kV substations. TVA also would update the map board display in Chattanooga to reflect the new assets.
Construction of the substation is scheduled to begin in June 2016 and to be completed in June 2019.
More information on this environmental review can be obtained from: