Mayor of Frisco, Texas objects to proposed transmission project

The mayor of Frisco, Texas has come out strongly against a 138-kV transmission line proposed by Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, reinforcing a city council resolution, which also opposed the project and was passed earlier this month.

The co-op developed the Stonebrook transmission line and substation project to provide increased capacity and better continuity of service for its member utility, CoServ, which serves the area of Benton County, Texas, and is the exclusive provider for the area of Frisco that is to be served by the Brazos Electric project. As part of its planning process, the co-op proposed routing the line along two major parkways through the city, located north of Dallas, and placing the transmission structures in the medians of those roadways.

Mayor Maher Maso said in his Sept. 20 letter to the co-op that the double-circuit line could not be constructed along either Stonebrook Parkway or Main Street because such an alignment conflicts with the city’s thoroughfare master plan, which calls for widening the roadways in 2015 and 2017, leaving insufficient room in the median for any additional utilities.

In addition, the proposed routes also violate the city’s capital improvement plan, hike and bike master plan, and overall comprehensive master plan, Maso said.

Further, the proposed alignments “do not comply with the Public Utility Commission’s policy of ‘prudent avoidance’ for ‘limiting the exposures to electrical and magnetic fields that can be avoided with reasonable investments of money and effort’ [because] high-voltage transmission lines would encroach on existing ‘habitable structures’,” Maso said. 

The letter concludes by citing a resolution passed Sept. 3 by the Frisco City Council opposing the routes, and by asking that both proposed routes be removed from consideration as viable routes.

For its part, Brazos Electric is still evaluating the letter and its implications to the Stonebrook project in light of the PUC’s routing guidelines and has no response at present, a company spokesperson told TransmissionHub Sept. 26. 

The new line would be approximately 2.7 miles to 4.1 miles in length, extending east from a new five-acre substation to be built just east of Lake Lewisville to a tap point along an existing 138-kV transmission line located just west of the North Dallas Tollway in southeastern Denton County, Texas, according to an environmental consulting firm engaged by Brazos Electric.

Brazos must apply to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) for approval to build the lines, but the PUCT can only consider routes included in the application. Brazos agreed earlier this month to delay its application pending further action by the city, and has no specific timetable for filing with the PUCT.

This story, originally published on Sept. 24, was updated Sept. 26 to include additional information provided by CoServ and Brazos Electric.