APS completes massive Yuma transmission project
Energize Weekly, June 10, 2015
Arizona Public Service (APS) recently completed its largest transmission project in nearly three decades – a $200 million line between Phoenix and Yuma that will bolster reliability in one of the fastest growing areas in the United States.
The 500-kilovolt (kV), 110-mile line, which went operational on May 26, spans from the Hassayampa substation near the Palo Verde nuclear power plant to the North Gila substation in Yuma. The project, called is the result of 2 years of construction work and almost 10 years of planning, fueled by the capacity demands of the rapidly growing Yuma area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Yuma County’s population has increased 27 percent since 2000, making it third among the fastest growing areas in the U.S.
“When planning for Arizona’s energy future, we look out 10 to 15 years to ensure our customers always have the reliable energy they have come to expect from APS,” said Pat Dinkel, APS Vice President of Transmission & Distribution Operations. “HANG2 is essentially like adding a second extension cord to our customers in Yuma. Residents and business owners in the area will have an ample supply of reliable power to run their businesses and be comfortable in their homes, even as Yuma continues to grow.”
The line establishes a second route connecting Phoenix to the Yuma area. APS community affairs manager Anna Chaulk said that the line will ensure Yucca County has access to greater energy capacity and bolster reliability, just in time the high summer temperatures and correlating peak power demand.
The team constructing the line had to overcome a variety of obstacles, including having to work in some of the most isolated parts of the state, rugged terrain in the Muggins and Laguna Mountains regions, as well as adverse weather conditions, including extreme heat, rain, and wind, which sometimes led to delays, according to Chaulk.
APS also posted a video showing crews constructing the HANG2 line on its Youtube channel.
APS parent company Pinnacle West says that the rapidly growing Yucca and Phoenix Metropolian areas will lead to steady customer additions in 2015. According to investment research firm Zacks, Pinnacle expects retail customer growth of 2-3 percent annually from 2015 to 2017, or 1.5 to 2.5 percent in 2015.