LCRA Transmission Services Corporation (LCRA TSC) today filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) an application to build a new 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line in Schleicher, Irion and Tom Green counties.
The application includes a preferred route suggested by LCRA TSC and seven alternate routes for the Twin Buttes-to-McCamey D transmission line. The new line will be approximately 35 to 45 miles long, depending on the final route the PUC chooses for LCRA TSC to construct.
LCRA TSC proposes to construct a new, double-circuit, bundled conductor, 345-kV transmission line, primarily on double-circuit capable lattice structures. The transmission line will connect the existing Twin Buttes Station, located in northwestern Tom Green County, to the designated McCamey D Station, to be located in northwestern Schleicher County. The project is a single-circuit, double circuit capable 345-kV transmission line, which will accommodate a second circuit when necessary.
LCRA TSC’s application is a request to amend its Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN). The PUC must approve the CCN application before construction can begin.
Construction of the Twin Buttes-to-McCamey D transmission line is part of a greater estimated $4.9 billion project intended to allow for reliable and cost-effective delivery of power produced from wind generators located in areas of West Texas and the Panhandle, called Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ), to homes and businesses in areas of high energy demand throughout the state. The CREZ effort will significantly increase Texas’ current transmission capacity for wind power.
The PUC considers the Twin Buttes-to-McCamey D project a CREZ priority project. Plans are to energize the new line by 2012.
Potentially affected landowners will have 30 days to intervene in this proceeding, PUC Docket No. 37778. On Jan. 15, LCRA TSC mailed letters to directly affected landowners, as required by the PUC, and sent letters to elected officials and others as well.
The PUC will make a decision on the final route within 181 days of LCRA TSC’s filing its CCN application. The PUC can approve the application as presented, approve it with modifications, or deny it. If the PUC approves the project, LCRA TSC will send a final notice to directly affected landowners indicating if their property is on the approved route.
Descriptions and maps of the preferred and alternative routes will appear in a public notice the week of Jan. 18 in the San Angelo Standard Times and the Eldorado Success.
The maps also are available on LCRA’s Web site at www.lcra.org/energy/trans/crez as of Jan. 15. They also can be accessed on the PUC’s document Web site at http://interchange.puc.state.tx.us. Click on the login button, then type 37778, the project’s docket number, in the control number field.
Also, maps illustrating the project area LCRA TSC studied and the routes may be reviewed at the county courthouses in Schleicher, Irion and Tom Green counties.
LCRA TSC staff is working on another CREZ priority project to file with the PUC. LCRA TSC will file the McCamey D-to-Kendall-to-Gillespie priority project on July 6.
Several other CREZ secondary or subsequent projects are also in the works. LCRA TSC will file the McCamey A-to-Odessa project with the PUC on May 24, and the McCamey C-to-McCamey A project on July 26. Open houses on these projects will be held in early 2010 as well.
As ordered by the PUC, LCRA TSC will build, own and operate about 600 miles of CREZ-related new and rebuilt existing transmission lines and facilities, which will cost a total of about $700 million, according to PUC estimates.
Several other transmission service providers also will build about 2,400 miles of CREZ-related lines.