Texas regulators refer docket related to proposed 138-kV line to SOAH

The Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas, in a Dec. 7 order, referred the docket concerning Brazos Electric Cooperative Inc.’s proposed 138-kV transmission project, to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) and requested the assignment of an administrative law judge to conduct a hearing and issue a proposal for decision, if such is necessary in the event one or more issues are contested by the parties in the proceeding.

As noted in the order, Brazos Electric in October filed an application with the PUC to amend its certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) for the 138-kV line in Collin County, Texas.

The proposed project is designated at the Kittyhawk Transmission Line and Substation Project, and the facilities include construction of the new line connecting a new approximately five-acre substation sited along or near SH 121 in the vicinity of Alma Drive and Exchange Parkway in western Collin County, the PUC said.

The line would connect the substation to an interconnection point located along an existing transmission line either to the east, northeast, west or southwest of the substation, depending on the route selected, the PUC said.

Brazos Electric estimated the project’s cost to be about $25.5m, the PUC said, noting that the proposed project is presented with 25 alternate routes and is estimated to be about 2.04 to 4.96 miles long.

ERCOT has not deemed the line as critical to the reliability of the ERCOT system, the PUC said.

The PUC also said that it must render a decision approving or denying the application for a CCN within one year of the date of filing a complete application for such certificate; therefore, a PUC decision must be issued by Nov. 17, 2017.

The PUC said that it identifies certain issues that must be addressed in the docket, including:

  • Is Brazos Electric’s application to amend its CCN adequate?
  • Are the proposed facilities necessary for the service, accommodation, convenience, or safety of the public?
  • Is the transmission project the better option to meet the need when compared to employing distribution facilities?
  • Which proposed transmission line route is the best alternative weighing certain factors?

Noting that it does not have the authority to adjudicate or set the amount of compensation for rights of way (ROWs), the PUC said that the issue that should not be addressed in the proceeding is: What is the appropriate compensation for ROW or condemnation of property?

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3059 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.