Siting of large infrastructure requires collaboration with the public and landowners to find the best solution. AEP Transmission’s new and compact line, called BOLD™ (Breakthrough Overhead Line Design), is a preferred design due to its lower profile tower and inherent electrical efficiencies, including greater capacity, lower audible noise and lower electromagnetic fields, that can reduce right-of-way land needs. A team of AEP engineers developed the high-capacity 345-kilovolt (kV) line design to move power over long distances; it is now being expanded to new voltage classes for different applications. BOLD’s first application, a 22-mile rebuild of an existing 138-kV line in Indiana, is well under way and on track for a mid-2016 completion.
By packing more power in a compact design, BOLD provides 12 times the power carrying capability of the 138 kV structure, 33 percent more than the 500 kV structure, and 42 percent more than the conventional 345 kV structure. BOLD also maximizes capacity in a right-of-way and its low profile is designed for greater public acceptance.
In 2015, AEP established BOLD™ Transmission, LLC, a subsidiary of AEP Transmission Holding Company, to accelerate adoption of this next-generation line technology across the industry. PJM Interconnection, the regional transmission organization that oversees the transmission of bulk electricity in 13 states and the District of Columbia, approved a second deployment of BOLD technology in Indiana. A third deployment of BOLD for a wind farm interconnection in Texas was recently approved by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the transmission grid that covers the majority of the state.
AEP believes there is a significant market for 230-kV BOLD lines because of an abundance of this voltage class. AEP is testing a 230-kV version of BOLD at the Electric Power Research Institute lab in Massachusetts. BOLD’s value is significant, especially to replace aging infrastructure at 230-kV, since it provides a bigger increase in power-carrying capability that can be achieved cost competitively. BOLD could be useful in replacement and upgrade of aging infrastructure throughout the United States, including over 125,000 miles of 230-kV and 345-kV.
BOLD Transmission has patents in the United States and Canada, with patents pending in Mexico, South Korea, China and the European Union, similar to those already approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The BOLD Edge
- Up to 40% - 60% more power-carrying capability than conventional designs.
- Facilitates renewable energy interconnection.
- Reduces challenges to long-distance transmission.
- Low profile wins greater public acceptance.
- Packs more power in a right-of-way.