Entergy Texas Inc.’s application to amend its certificate of convenience and necessity for a 230-kV transmission line from the Heights substation to the existing Entergy transmission line #822 in Montgomery County, Texas, is approved, according to a Dec. 13 notice of approval signed by an administrative law judge (ALJ) with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas.
As noted in the document, Entergy Texas filed its application in late September, and PUC staff on Dec. 2 recommended approval of the application to build the proposed project on the proposed route.
As TransmissionHub reported, Entergy’s (NYSE:ETR) Entergy Texas on Dec. 9 filed with the PUC a joint proposed notice of approval that approves the company’s application.
According to the Dec. 13 notice of approval, the proposed Heights substation is to be located northeast of the intersection of Farm to Market (FM) Road 1314 and Northgate Lane. The proposed route for the new line would be about 1.4 miles and would contain two circuits on separate side-by-side structures separated by 50 feet and built within a single 175-foot-wide right of way (ROW), the ALJ added.
Staff noted that the project’s design has an increased impact to landowners and an increase in costs associated with the design as opposed to building a traditional double-circuit monopole on a narrower ROW to carry both circuits. The ALJ added that according to Entergy, the increased impact and cost are outweighed by the reliability and maintenance benefits achieved by having separate side-by-side single-circuit monopoles.
The estimated cost of the proposed transmission line is about $5m, and the estimated cost for the substation facilities is about $14.5m, the ALJ said.
The Heights substation project is a planned new Entergy distribution point of delivery providing additional load-serving transformer capacity that is necessary to eliminate an anticipated 2019 New Caney Transformer #3 (T-3) overload condition, according to the ALJ’s filing.
The project includes the construction of a new 230/34.5-kV substation with looped transmission service, six new 34.5-kV distribution feeders, and with two additional feeders planned for future build out, the ALJ said.
Load growth within Entergy’s New Caney network in southeast Montgomery County is expected to continue over the next 10-20 years, the ALJ said, adding that existing facilities cannot service all of the expected load growth in Entergy’s New Caney network.
The proposed route for the line would be about 1.4 miles, crossing four properties and is within 300 feet of two habitable structures, the ALJ said.
The ALJ said that the proposed route is not anticipated to have significant impacts to the area’s natural resources, and the proposed project will have minimal impact on: recreational and park areas; historical values; and aesthetic values.
Among other things, the ALJ said that Entergy is to comply with certain measures to mitigate construction impacts. For instance, in the event that Entergy 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.