Lyntegar Electric Cooperative files proposed notice of approval in Texas for proposed 138-kV line

Lyntegar Electric Cooperative (LEC) on Feb. 1 filed with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas a “submission of the parties’ agreed proposed notice of approval” in relation to LEC’s proposed North Lamesa 138-kV transmission line.

The parties include LEC and PUC staff, LEC said, adding that the agreed notice of approval grants LEC’s application to amend a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) for the proposed line within Dawson County, Texas.

The proposed project is designed to build new electric transmission facilities in Dawson County in order to provide capacity needed for load growth and improve electric service reliability for LEC’s members. All parties agreed that the line should be built on Route 1, LEC added, noting that staff last month recommended that the PUC approve the application.

Route 1 follows the alignment of an existing overhead distribution line for about 82% of its proposed length, LEC said, adding that the project would be financed entirely with internally generated funds. LEC’s cost estimate for the project if the proposed Route 1 is used is about $4.7m for transmission facilities, and about $1.8m for substation facilities, for a total estimated cost of about $6.6m. LEC also said that the proposed project, which should be energized this year, would use a 60-foot right of way.

LEC said that the proposed radial 138-kV line originates at the newly built West Lamesa substation, located on a two-acre tract on the southwest corner of the intersection of Highway 180 and FM 829 in Dawson County, and terminates at the proposed North Lamesa substation at a site on the west side of FM 179, at the intersection with CR 15 in Dawson County.

LEC said it plans to build the line with steel or concrete single pole tangent structures and self-supporting concrete caisson mounted steel poles on all angle and dead-end structures.

Discussing the project’s need, LEC said that additional capacity is needed to serve the growing load in the portion of LEC’s territory that would be served by the proposed line. The area around the proposed substation is experiencing growth due to oil exploration in the area, irrigation loads, as well as residential and ranching growth around Lamesa. The North Lamesa substation, LEC added, is forecast to peak at 6.8 MW by 2020. In addition, the capacity available to LEC in the area is from an Oncor distribution line that is already at or near its maximum capacity during peak periods.

LEC said that the proposed project would have minimal adverse impacts on community values, on recreation and park areas, on historical values, as well as on aesthetic values. Among other things, LEC also said that construction of the proposed line would minimize to the extent practicable adverse environmental impacts to sensitive plant and animal species, as well as their habitats. In addition, no impacts to federal or state-listed threatened or endangered wildlife or aquatic species are anticipated.

Under ordering paragraphs, LEC said, for instance, that if LEC or its contractors encounter any artifacts or other cultural resources during project construction, work is to cease immediately in the vicinity of the resource and the discovery is to be reported to the Texas Historical Commission.

Also, LEC said that it is to use best management practices to minimize the potential impact to migratory birds as well as threatened or endangered species.