An effort by Southwestern Electric Power Company to construct new transmission facilities in Northwest Arkansas may be stalled while the company petitions a recent decision by the Arkansas Public Service Commission.
SWEPCO filed a petition for rehearing Friday, asking the commission to reconsider its recent decision to allow the company to construct the transmission facilities along an alternate route. The electric company instead wants to build the facilities along its original proposed line route, according to a statement released Friday by SWEPCO.
“The Commission confirmed the need for this important project for regional electric reliability,” said Venita McCellon-Allen, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “We are seeking a rehearing because we believe evidence was presented demonstrating Route 33 is reasonable and strikes an appropriate balance in routing this line.”
The original proposed line would run through Benton and Carroll counties, while the Arkansas Public Service Commission’s approved route also includes segments running through McDonald and Barry counties in Missouri.
The commission found the original plan “unreasonable,” although SWEPCO refutes those findings, with company officials saying they want the commission to reconsider proposed changes to the route that would run it outside the boundaries of the Pea Ridge National Military Park, SWEPCO officials said in the statement.
The proposed line would connect the Shipe Road Station in Benton County with the Kings River Station, which is set to be built near Berryville in Carroll County, according to SWEPCO.
The line “will serve as a backbone for the region’s electric transmission system.