CREZ ‘priority projects’ nearing completion

Oncor Electric Delivery (Oncor) and LCRA Transmission Services (LCRA), the two developers assigned to build transmission projects designated as “priority projects” in the Texas competitive renewable energy zone (CREZ) transmission build-out, have completed construction on 11 of 12 transmission projects designated as CREZ “priority projects.”

“All of our priority projects were completed by the December 2012 in-service date,” adding some 400 miles of new transmission to the Texas system, a spokesperson for Oncor told TransmissionHub Jan. 22.

Nine priority projects were awarded to Oncor. Most recently completed were the Newton-to-Killeen and Brown-to-Newton lines, which were placed into service at the end of December 2012, the spokesperson said.

Other priority projects placed into service by Oncor during 2012 include the Central Bluff-to-Bluff Creek project that was placed into service in February and the Bluff Creek-to-Brown project in June.

Priority projects placed into service by Oncor in 2011 include the Scurry County South-to-Tonkawa and Tonkawa-to-Sweetwater lines that entered service in June; and the Riley-to-Bowman, Sweetwater-to-Central Bluff, and Dermott-to-Scurry County South lines that were energized in December.

In addition to the transmission lines, Oncor completed the Brown, Newton and Sweetwater East switching stations; reconfigured the Tonkawa switching station; completed the Brown, Dermott and Scurry County South reactive compensation; and the Central Bluff, Dermott and Scurry County South collection stations.

LCRA has completed two projects, placed one into service, and continues to work on a third.

The Big Hill-to-Kendall project is still under construction and expected to be in service in December. The company’s Twin Buttes-to-Big Hill project was completed in December 2012 but has not been energized. An anticipated in-service date has not been announced. The Twin Buttes-to-Brown project was completed in 2010 and is in service.

Together, LCRA’s three priority projects total 265 miles of transmission.

Priority projects comprise one of three categories of CREZ projects that were identified by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) when it authorized the build-out (Docket No. 33672).

Priority projects are those identified as “necessary to alleviate current or projected transmission congestion issues and were determined to have the highest priority for completion,” according to the PUCT’s most recent quarterly report on the CREZ projects. Other categories include default projects and subsequent projects.

A number of the CREZ default projects have been completed and others are in various stages of completion, according to the report. CREZ subsequent projects consist of the remaining CREZ transmission projects not identified as either default or priority.