Texas coop seeks approval for 138-kV transmission line

Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative submitted to the Public Utility Commission of Texas an application to amend a certificate of convenience and necessity regarding the Lower Bois D’Arc Pump Station 138-kV Transmission Line Project in Fannin County, Texas.

As noted in the application, the members of RCEC include the Fannin County Electric Cooperative.

RCEC said that it proposes to build a new single-circuit 138-kV electric transmission line that would connect a planned substation to be built by FCEC.

The point of delivery at the LBCR Pump Station substation is located within the singly certificated service area of FCEC, RCEC said.

RCEC said that it would install new transmission switching equipment at the LBCR Pump Station Switch, the site of which would be about three acres to five acres in size.

RCEC said that the project is needed to supply wholesale power to a delivery point at the new LBCR Pump Station substation to be built by FCEC, which would be used to serve NTMWD’s raw-water pumping station and related facilities associated with NTMWD’s proposed Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir.

RCEC noted that it proposes three alternative locations for the site, all located between the unincorporated towns of Allens Chapel and Allens Point about 2.55 miles north of US 82. Those proposed sites were identified because they connect to Oncor’s existing Valley-Paris Switching Station 138-kV transmission line, which is the closest transmission line capable of providing the needed interconnection; and have sufficient space and all-weather road access for the switching station, RCEC said.

RCEC also noted that it and FCEC selected the location for the LBCR Pump Station substation based primarily on the need to locate adjacent to the concentrated load center to be served by the project (NTMWD’s proposed pump station and related facilities), and locate on property already owned by NTMWD, so as to mitigate impacts to landowners.

The entire project would be about five miles to nine miles long, depending on the final route selected, RCEC said. The length of right of way (ROW) required for the project ranges from 5.51 miles to 8.89 miles, RCEC said, adding that since the project would be a single circuit, the number of miles of circuit is the same as the number of miles of ROW.

Land uses are predominantly agricultural within the project area, which is situated within the Blackland Prairie Physiographic Province of Texas, RCEC said.

RCEC said that it evaluated 12 alternative routes included in the application and selected “Route L” as the route that best complies with certain rules. RCEC noted that Route L, for instance:

·      Is the third shortest route — about 6.25 miles

·      Impacts the fewest habitable structures — one — within 300 feet of its centerline

·      Is the second-least expensive route — about $4.5m

·      Is not within the foreground visual zone of any parks/recreation areas, U.S. and state highways, or FM/RM roads

·      Crosses the second-least amount of pastureland/rangeland

·      Crosses the least amount of areas of high archaeological/historical site potential

RCEC said that it would own, operate, and maintain all transmission line facilities associated with the project, and that it would acquire the LBCR Pump Station Switch property, as well as own, operate, and maintain all facilities associated with the LBCR Pump Station Switch where the new 138-kV transmission line would connect to Oncor’s existing Valley-Paris Switching Station 138-kV transmission line.

FCEC would own the LBCR Pump Station substation. The substation is planned as a single 138-kV terminal station with a 138-kV to 14.4-kV step-down transformer and associated distribution feeder facility, RCEC added.

RCEC said that it would design and build the new 138-kV transmission facilities up to buss work and a dead-end structure owned by FCEC at the LBCR Pump Station substation, as well as have metering equipment within the site.

According to the estimated schedule, ROW and land acquisition would begin in August 2018, and be completed in December 2018; engineering and design would begin in August 2018, and be completed in October 2018; material and equipment procurement would begin in October 2018, and be completed in January 2019; and the construction of facilities would begin in January 2019, and be completed in September 2019, which is also when the facilities would be energized.

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Corina Rivera-Linares, chief analyst for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 10 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at corinar@pennwell.com .

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