PUCT approves Hartburg–Chisholm transmission line in Texas

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) on March 9 approved the application of Entergy unit Entergy Texas Inc. (ETI) to amend a certificate of convenience and necessity to build a 230-kV transmission line in Newton and Orange counties in east Texas, according to TransmissionHub.

The new line would run between the existing Hartburg substation near Deweyville in Newton County, and the proposed Chisholm Road substation near Mauriceville in Orange County, according to ETI’s Dec. 18, 2014, application.

ETI proposed the Hartburg to Chisholm Road transmission line as part of its larger Orange County project to alleviate power flow limitations in the company’s service area. The Orange County project includes installation of a second 500/230-kV autotransformer at the Hartburg substation and replacing eight 230-kV circuit breakers at the Sabine generating station to provide adequate fault interrupting capability, ETI said in its application.

In its March 9 notice, the PUCT approved ETI’s preferred route alternative, which is 14.1 miles long. The company estimated that the transmission line and new substation would cost $55.5 million. ETI proposed eight route alternatives comprised of 28 route segments.

The PUCT said that none of the parties to the case opposed the preferred route, which consists of five of the 28 route segments. ETI in the case proceedings agreed to make reasonable efforts to accommodate one landowner request to site a segment on the eastern portion of an existing right of way that crosses the landowner’s property.

The PUCT said that it does not anticipate that the project will have any effect on federally listed threatened or endangered species. ETI has agreed to conduct field assessments of the entire length of the preferred route to identify water resources, cultural resources, potential migratory bird issues and previously unidentified threatened or endangered species habitat.

As a result of its assessments, ETI will identify additional permits that are necessary for the project, consult any required agencies, obtain all necessary environmental permits, and comply with the relevant permit conditions during construction and operation of the transmission line.

In its application, ETI said that it determined that the Hartburg to Chisholm Road project would be necessary by 2017 to mitigate overloads in the event of the loss of multiple facilities on the system. The company said that it anticipates beginning construction on the project in December 2016, and energizing the facilities in May 2017.

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