Sharyland Utilities, L.P., in a Jan. 17 application filed with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas, said that it is seeking to amend its certificate of convenience and necessity to build the single-circuit Stiles to Coates 138-kV Transmission Line in Reagan County, Texas.
The company said that the project would connect expanded facilities at the existing Stiles substation, which are currently under construction and located 0.08 mile northwest of the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road (FM) 137 and FM 50 in Reagan County, to the proposed Coates substation southeast of the Stiles substation, also in Reagan County.
The Coates substation is proposed to be located either about 2.13 miles west of the intersection of State Highway (SH) 137 and Ranch-to-Market (RM) 33 (“Substation Site Option B”) or about 0.42 miles east-southeast of the intersection of SH 137 and RM 33 (“Substation Site Option C”), the company said.
The lengths of the 14 alternative routes for the line contained in the application range from 7.1 miles for Alternative Route B4 to 13.4 miles for Alternative Route C2.
Sharyland also said that the project is needed to accommodate significant load growth, allow Sharyland to more effectively serve existing customers, and increase reliability. Sharyland said that it is witnessing significant and consistent load growth in the Stanton service area, primarily driven by new oil and gas load. The project would serve new load requests in the area of the proposed Coates substation, and improve service and reliability for existing customers by shortening the distribution feeders that serve them, the company said.
Sharyland noted that the project would be designed at 145 kV and operated as a 138-kV transmission line.
The proposed Coates substation would enable Sharyland to serve load growth in Reagan County by providing 138-kV transmission voltage to the southern area of Sharyland’s system and would increase the capacity and reliability for distribution load in that area, Sharyland said. The Coates substation, which would not be an HVDC converter station or switching station, would convert voltage from 138 kV to 25 kV, the company said.
While the overall typical structure height would be about 95 feet to 110 feet, the final actual above ground tower height may vary depending on terrain, the company said, adding that geotechnical investigations will be performed on the approved route, and the results will be used to determine specific tower placement and height.
Sharyland also said that the area that it proposes to traverse for the project is located within a rural setting, and that land use is predominantly comprised of rangeland and cropland; habitable structures within the study area are typically associated with rural ranch properties or commercial facilities.
Sharyland said that its routing consultant, POWER Engineers, developed and evaluated 14 primary alternative routes and two substation site locations for the proposed Coates substation (Option B and Option C) – alternative routes beginning with “B” refer to routes terminating at the Coates Substation Site Option B, while alternative routes beginning with “C” refer to routes terminating at Substation Site Option C.
Sharyland said that it selected the estimated $18.4m, 7.1-mile “Alternative Route B4” as the route that it believes best addresses certain requirements, adding that the selection was based on a balancing of factors, including environmental and land use analysis; engineering, design and construction constraints; costs; and the location of the load to be served.
Of that estimated $18.4m total cost, about $9.7m is for the transmission facilities, while about $8.7m is for substation facilities, the company said.
POWER Engineers selected Route B4 as the best route from an overall environmental and land use perspective, the company said.
None of the alternative routes are located within 1,000 feet of any parks or recreational areas, Sharyland said, adding that no archeological sites are recorded within the right of way (ROW) of any of the alternative route centerlines. The company noted, for instance, that one cemetery, the Stiles Cemetery, designated as a Historic Texas Cemetery, is located within the study area.
The company said that Route B4, which is the shortest of the 14 alternative routes, and the least expensive route, has only one habitable structure – which is commercial – within 300 feet of the ROW centerline.
Among other things, the company said that the ROW of Route B4 has no recorded historic, prehistoric, or National Register listed or determined-eligible sites within 1,000 feet of the ROW centerline, and that from an engineering standpoint, the route is preferable because it crosses no transmission pipelines and terminates at Coates Substation Site Option B, which is less constrained by gathering pipelines and other infrastructure than Option C.
According to the estimated schedule included in the application, ROW and land acquisition, as well as engineering and design, would begin in January 2018 and be completed in April 2018; material and equipment procurement would begin in February 2018 and be completed in May 2018; and construction of the facilities would begin in April 2018 and be completed in August 2018, which is when the facilities would be energized.
According to a Jan. 17 landowner notice attached to the application, the deadline for intervention in the proceeding (Docket No. 46726) is March 3.