Sharyland’s former Cap Rock facilities poised to move to ERCOT

An agreement between parties to the application of Sharyland Utilities to construct the Gardendale-to-Grady 138-kV transmission line has backed an Oct. 30 recommendation to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) for approval of a 10.2-mile route alternative for the project.

With an approval, Sharyland will be able to execute an order from the PUCT to move certain divisions it obtained through its merger with Cap Rock Energy away from the Southwest Power Pool to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market.

The State Office of Administrative Hearings sent its proposed order to the PUCT supporting approval of Sharyland’s application to amend its certificates of convenience and necessity to construct a 138-kV transmission line connecting the existing Sharyland Gardendale-to-East Midland line and Sharyland Triangle-to-Grady line.

The recommendation was conditioned on the terms of an unopposed stipulation to the proceedings that was signed by Sharyland, commission staff and 10 interveners on Oct. 24.

Parties to the stipulation chose one of 20 route alternatives that were presented in the original application by Sharyland after weighing interveners’ comments and federal and state regulations. The cost of the route recommended in the stipulation is estimated at $7.6m — $757,000 more than the least cost route alternative and $1.6m less than the highest cost alternative.

The route alternative that Sharyland preferred in its application is 9.05 miles long and is estimated to cost $6.8m. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department supported Sharyland’s preferred route alternative in an environmental review and route analysis for the project. No specific guidelines were included in the environmental review for mitigation measures on the final route alternative recommended in the stipulation.

PUCT ordered Sharyland to move its Cap Rock divisions to ERCOT as a condition of the companies’ 2010 merger.

The order included a finding for the need to build a transmission line from the 138-kV Sharyland Gardendale-to-East Midland line to the existing 138-kV Sharyland Triangle-to-Grady line in Martin and Midland counties in Texas.

Sharyland estimates the Gardendale-to-Grady project will be placed in service in November 2013.