State will decide the route for proposed power line

Whether CenterPoint will be allowed to construct a high voltage transmission line through south Montgomery County will be left in the hands of thePublic Utility Commission of Texas.

CenterPoint Energy on Jan. 12 formally filed its Certificate of Convenience and Necessity with the utility commission for approval to build a 138 kilovolt electric transmission line as part of its Springwood project.

The line, along with the Springwood Substation, would help provide energy to the new Exxon Mobil Corp. campus in the Springwoods Village community and a massive commercial and residential development. The proposed development includes 4,500 – 5,000 new homes along with more than 8 million square feet of commercial office space and 1.2 million square feet of retail space. Exxon Mobil plans to open the company’s new 385-acre campus sometime in 2014, with a completion date set in 2015.

Officials with Montgomery County and The Woodlands are hoping CenterPoint and the Public Utility Commission can find a route that is less invasive than potential sites in the county.

“Electrical facilities are needed to support this development and to maintain reliable electric service in the area; therefore, significant electrical infrastructure improvements are required,” said CenterPoint spokeswoman Alicia Dixon said.

The CenterPoint project would connect the proposed Springwoods Substation to the transmission system from an existing 138 kV transmission line corridor west of Interstate 45.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas will determine the best route for the proposed 138 kV transmission line while considering whether the proposed transmission facilities are necessary, Dixon said.

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