The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) today chose a route for a new 345-kilovolt transmission line project intended to carry renewable wind power through Schleicher, Irion and Tom Green counties to more populated areas of the state.
LCRA Transmission Services Corporation (LCRA TSC) will build the 38-mile line west and south of San Angelo. The line, known as Twin Buttes to McCamey D, is part of an effort mandated by the Texas Legislature to allow for reliable and cost-effective delivery of power produced from areas in 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 PUC selected the route included in an administrative law judge’s proposal for decision with some modifications. This route, referred to as TM9, was agreed to in April by PUC staff and intervening parties.
The PUC also selected the structure types to be used in construction. The PUC ordered the use of pole structures in certain locations while steel lattice structures will be constructed along part of the project’s length.
Plans are to energize the line by 2012.
During a hearing on the merits in mid-April, PUC staff and intervening parties agreed on several modifications to one of the eight alternative routes that LCRA TSC filed in January with the PUC. LCRA TSC did not take a position on the agreement. Commissioners considered these possibilities in selecting the route for the new 345-kilovolt line.
The transmission line will connect the existing Twin Buttes Station, located in northwestern Tom Green County, to the new McCamey D Station, to be located in northern Schleicher County. The project is a single-circuit, double circuit-capable line, which will accommodate a second circuit when necessary.
This is the first CREZ-related "priority project" that the PUC has approved for LCRA TSC to build.
After LCRA TSC receives the PUC’s final order, a letter will be sent to area landowners informing them if they are affected or no longer affected by this project.
Easement acquisitions along the route will begin immediately.
LCRA TSC has other CREZ-related priority projects in the works. LCRA TSC plans to file its McCamey D-to-Kendall-to-Gillespie project with the PUC on July 28. Meanwhile, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas is preparing a response to a question from the PUC concerning the necessity of constructing the Gillespie-to-Newton project in Gillespie, Burnet, Llano and Lampasas counties.
For more information about CREZ-related projects, see http://www.lcra.org/crez. Select the individual project for line-specific information.
About LCRA TSC
LCRA Transmission Services Corporation is a nonprofit corporation created by LCRA to build, own, and operate transmission lines and related facilities throughout Texas. LCRA TSC owns and leases about 4,400 miles of transmission lines and other facilities that are part of the state’s electric grid. LCRA TSC pays local and state taxes.
The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) is a nonprofit conservation and reclamation district that provides energy, water, and community services to Texans. Created by the Texas Legislature in 1934, LCRA has no taxing authority and operates solely on utility revenues and service fees. LCRA supplies electricity to more than 1.1 million Texans through more than 40 wholesale customers. LCRA also provides many other services in the region. These services include managing floods, protecting the quality of the lower Colorado River and its tributaries, providing parks and recreational facilities, offering economic development assistance, operating water and wastewater utilities, and providing soil, energy, and water conservation programs.