Executive Insight, T&D, Transmission

Texas regulators approve 345-kV transmission line

The Public Utility Commission of Texas on March 27 unanimously approved an application by Electric Transmission Texas LLC and Sharyland Utilities, L.P. to build a 345-kV transmission line from a substation northwest of the city of Edinburg to a substation located east of the city of Brownsville. The cost of the transmission project is estimated to total $309 million and is expected to be completed during the summer of 2016.

The PUCT commissioners approved construction of the new about 96-mile transmission line that would extend from the existing AEP Texas Central Co. North Edinburg Substation to the existing Brownsville Public Utilities Board Loma Alta Substation located near the Brownsville Ship Channel.

The western half of the line will be constructed, owned and operated by ETT, while the eastern half will be constructed and operated by Sharyland Utilities, L.P. The midpoint is about one mile east of the Hidalgo/Cameron county line.

The transmission line’s approved route runs generally east from the North Edinburg Substation, and after about 7.5 miles turns south continuing past the city of Donna. About 2 miles north of U.S. Highway 281, the route turns east roughly paralleling the north side of U.S. Highway 281, until the city of Rangerville, where it turns north-northeast toward the city of San Benito and then continues east around the northern and eastern sides of Brownsville, ultimately terminating at the Loma Alta Substation.

Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) endorsed the project in January 2012. Since that time, ETT and Sharyland have worked with an experienced routing consultant to perform an environmental assessment and routing analysis for the proposed transmission line. In addition, public input was gathered at jointly hosted public open houses in October 2012 and February 2013.

The application was filed in July 2013 under PUCT Docket No. 41606 – Joint Application of Electric Transmission Texas, LLC and Sharyland Utilities, L.P. to Amend Their Certificates of Convenience and Necessity for the Proposed North Edinburg to Loma Alta Double-Circuit 345 kV Transmission Line in Hidalgo and Cameron Counties, Texas.