The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), in Feb. 3 comments filed with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas, recommended that the PUC select a route that would minimize adverse impacts to natural resources, such as Route 1, for Lyntegar Electric Cooperative’s new 138-kV overhead transmission line within Dawson County, Texas.
Lyntegar has also proposed a new substation within Dawson County, the TPWD said, adding that the project area is located about 0.9 miles north-northwest of the city limits of the City of Lamesa, Texas, at the closest point. The project area varies from about 9.8 miles long for Route 1 to about 11.7 miles for Route 2, the TPWD said, noting that the proposed right of way (ROW) width is 60 feet.
Route 1 follows the alignment of an existing overhead distribution line for about 82% of its proposed length. A distribution underbuild will be incorporated into the new transmission line, the TPWD added, noting that since distribution spans are shorter than transmission spans, that will require additional distribution-only poles inset about midway between the transmission structures. Route 1 is estimated to require about 125 transmission and 129 distribution structures, the TPWD said.
The majority of the line would be built with about 85-foot-high steel or concrete poles of a modified Rural Utilities Service TP-138 design, with a single pole per structure and an estimated 125-151 structures, depending upon the route chosen, spaced about 450 feet apart. The TPWD also said that the poles would be buried about 11 feet deep, meaning their height above the ground surface would be about 74 feet.
Route 1 would result in a calculated total of 4.46 acres of temporary disturbance and about 0.58 acre of permanent disturbance. The TPWD also noted that Lyntegar contracted with JGB Consulting to prepare an environmental assessment (EA) and biological report.
According to the EA, Alternative Routes 1 and 2 are relatively similar in most areas, and for most resources the level of impact is nearly identical between the two alternatives.
“TPWD concurs that the level of impact to natural resources between the two alternatives would be nearly identical,” the TPWD added. “Because Route 1 would be the shorter route and require fewer structures, additional adverse impacts to natural resources would be best minimized along this route.”
Regardless of the route selected, the TPWD said it supports implementation of the recommended mitigation measures listed in the EA.